June 18, 2019
Exercise: it’s part of the “yeah yeah, I know” healthy living laundry list: eat clean, drink more water, manage stress, get plenty of good quality sleep, and move your body. We all have our own reasons to exercise — to stay healthy and fit, build and maintain muscle mass, for weight control, mood, cardiovascular health, stress relief… and of course that endorphin rush!
But there are some major benefits to exercise that you may NOT know about, which is where we come in.
Telowhos? Telomeres are described as protective caps on the tips of your chromosomes, which protect our DNA from fraying - kind of like the plastic tips at the end of your shoelaces. Since telomeres tend to shrink as we age, they’re kind of like a biological marker of age and how well we’re aging. Cell division wears down telomeres, and an enzyme called telomerease elongates them. Telomerease activity can be enhanced or suppressed. So the key to aging more graceful may be to do things that boost telomerease activity, like eating healthfully, spending time doing things you enjoy, meditation and mindfulness, and EXERCISING.
For more information about telomeres and how to keep yours in tip top shape, check out this interview on The Better Nutrition Program featuring our own Robin Foroutan, MS, RDN.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, is a type of growth factor that protects our brain from neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. How well we produce BDNF may be at least somewhat determined by your genes, but healthy habits can help improve BDNF synthesis. Exercise has been shown to be a powerful way to protect the brain from disease, by boosting the production of BDNF.
“Sweat it out” may be more than just a saying. In our previous blog about the vast health benefits of sauna bathing, we wrote about “intentional sweating,” which can be achieved using saunas or with intense exercise. Many of the benefits seen with sauna may be achieved through exercise as well — like improved immune response, heavy metal and BPA elimination, and reduced risk for heart disease — so long as you work up a good prolonged sweat.
So now you have three more solid, research-backed reason for regular exercise — what’s your motivation for staying fit?
Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your state of health, haven't exercised in a long time, or have chronic health problems.
This guide was written by Dr. Morrison and the health and nutrition experts at The Morrison Center. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health through the treatment and prevention of disease.
Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is an award-winning medical doctor, a leader in the field of Integrative Medicine, and champion of a nutritional approach to healthcare
Robin is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine and holistic healing modalities. She helps her clients address complicated conditions and return to wellness.
Stephanie is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner with a passion for helping her clients fulfill their potential through both emotional and physical optimization.
Think party food and beach bodies don’t mix? Think again! Here are our 5 ways to “healthy hack” your next summer barbecue:
1. Go “protein style” with your burger
Take a note from In-N-Out’s not-so-secret-menu and go lower-carb version: wrap your beef patty or veggie patty in a large romaine or collard green leaf. Or just eat it atop veggie sides!