Hi, I’m Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness Personal Training Studio where your health comes first.

Today we’re talking about brain games. This is a two part series because our brain kind of goes in many directions. I wanted to address one of those and that is where maybe as we’ve aged, we feel like our brain isn’t quite keeping up with us the way that it used to. Or maybe you’re a mom who feels like your brain is kind of everywhere. I can relate with that one pretty well. But we have a high rise lately in the occurrence of dementia and Alzheimer’s and things like that, so that got me thinking, after listening to a doctor speak, on this same idea on the brain and the memory and cognition and Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Not too long ago, we took on a client who really felt like their balance was off and that she wanted to get back to going for walks and playing tennis or golf with their friends or whatever it may be. Just wanted it to feel like she was free again. Let’s put her in the over 55 category. I don’t ever want to take anybody’s private information and share it so that we’ll put her in that category. She was at a point where she was just scared of losing some of her physical ability. We brought her in and started working with her and very quickly. Through our assessment process, we’re able to tell where people are starting from mentally, physically, what kind of abilities they have, what kind of strengths they have and where the opposites are, where the weaknesses are and the imbalances.

So we took all that information and we found that a lot of her balance issue wasn’t even a muscle weakness issue as much as it was a brain issue. We started doing some workouts tailored to that specific need. We were able to bring exercise in to work on the brain, if you will. And over the course of about four weeks, she started noticing that her brain in general felt more together, her memory, her cognition, her focus, all of those things were kind of coming in. At the same time, her balance was getting better. So she was putting all these things together and figuring this out and she came to me and was asking why we would have chosen to do that? How do we know to do that? What on earth has happened here?

Honestly, I have to give kudos to an old friend that taught me gymnastics long ago. And you guys may know them actually George and Lin, that we’re over at Amarillo Developmental Gymnastics Center for years and they were good friends with my parents. So the thing was that the Developmental Gymnastics Center was built around the idea of brain development with movement.

In all of the courses that I’ve taken through these 20 years of being a fitness professional, a lot of those things crossover. It’s about using exercise to build your brain power, being able to do things like crossing your midline. So for my kids at gymnastics, they would be pushing a hula hoop and have to push it with the opposite hand across their body. You know, there’s lots of things in there. Maybe using upper body and lower body together. Trying to create a movement pattern that included both trying to build new sequences in the brain so where you’re used to going one direction all the time and doing one thing, you go backwards and do it a little differently.

But building those things in your mind help to strengthen your mind, making you think a little bit harder about what you’re doing. So the doctor that I was listening to recently kind of brought all this back to mind because it’s something that I do a lot of times without thinking, that I kind of pull all that in because I know how important brain health is.

Personally, as a mom, as a business owner, as a type A human being who just feels like I’m all over the place all the time, brain health is huge. If I don’t work on that, on controlling that and building that in the right ways, then I can end up in a very big panic attack. And that’s not good. So I work on building brain health to be able to build my focus, to be able to stay attentive to what it is that I need to do.

As I listened to this Webinar, it was making me think of all of these people that I know who are having early onset dementia. Maybe they’re not showing it all the time and maybe it’s not heavy yet, but it’s progressing that way. It’s trending that direction. I’ve worked with several people in the past who’ve had dementia that through exercise and eating well, we’ve been able to help their brain health to at least maintain its level.

But this doctor says that new research is on the way out, that over the past 10, 15 years, they’ve been seeing repeated success with exercise and nutrition in the realms of brain health, being able to reverse certain things, being able to maintain certain levels, being able to prevent certain things. I won’t pretend to quote him because I don’t want to get it wrong, but pretty much in that realm, it’s just there is progress to be made and that progress comes from making a choice now.

Maybe you’re in your 20s or 30s watching this and it doesn’t really mean much to you. Maybe you’re in your 40s and 50s and it doesn’t mean much to you. Maybe you haven’t quite seen that that’s a problem for you. Well, I know that in my family, every female on the side of my mom has had dementia and Alzheimer’s. That’s a big thing to me. So brain health is huge on my heart. I want to make sure that people know that there are things that they can do now to start helping in that process. It doesn’t matter when, any age, we can start to make things better.

We want to start to work in that direction. With exercise, like I said, by doing some different things, we’re actually using the brain to help us through that. 

Then we also have to think about two other key areas and that is food for your brain health. Really making sure that we’re getting in a good balance of healthy lean proteins, healthy fats and a big helping of vegetables really often. A lot of people really lack those vegetables. We just have gotten to where we don’t eat them and they are so important. They’re filled with vitamins and if they’ve been at great soils and great minerals, maybe even some probiotics, all sorts of good things that your body’s going to need in order to continue to promote good brain health.

The third area to really look for is one to avoid on a regular basis and that’s to minimize your toxic exposure. When we’re exposed to toxins, we think maybe about like smog and stuff. I think a lot of people kind of think in that direction, but it doesn’t have to be that big. It can be the chemicals that you brush your teeth with. It can be the chemicals in your shampoo and your lotion, things that you’re putting on yourself all the time. Remember that your skin is the biggest organ that we have and the body absorbs everything that goes on the skin. So it goes into the bloodstream and it gets into you. Those chemicals are not helping our brain health, so the less of them that we can have the better. I’m not saying that you have to go flip your whole world upside down and go replace everything that you have, but as you run out, start to think what is a better option here? What else could I have other than this? Is this something I should be concerned about?

There is a nice website that can help called the Skin Deep Database, you can type in products and it’ll tell you the toxicity level where they fall. The toxic environment is just something that we have around us all the time. We are constantly overwhelmed with that so we can’t completely rid ourselves of it because we’re not in control of all of it. But there are certain things that we can control; again, things like your toothpaste, your shampoo, your lotion, any of that kind of stuff, the foods that you’re eating, the drinks that you’re drinking, if they are toxic for your body, it’s not going to help your brain health. If you are truly interested in brain health, we need to start exercising better. We need to start eating better and we need to start being more aware of our environment to relieve ourselves of some of that toxic exposure.

If you feel like, man, that is just what I need and I don’t know how to do it, feel free to give us a call at (806) 322-3188. We’ve helped many people over the years with this exact same issue. Been able to prolong mentality and cognition and focus for years and years and it’s a wonderful thing. I love helping people with that. So feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to set you up with a free consultation. No strings attached. Just want to sit down and get to know you and see if we are the right fit for you. I hope you guys have a great end of day. Be talking to you soon.

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