Exercise the Wonder Drug: Move the Body, Heal The Brain with Dr. Jennifer Heisz & Caroline Williams.
Original Air Date Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Plenty of information exists about how exercise can boost our immune system and add years to our lives.Emerging research shows that physical movement can also ward off dementia, increase creativity, and help us manage stress.
To work out how movement and exercise may be the wonder drug to heal our brains and reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen, speaks with two authors whose work focuses on the connection between how moving the body can heal the brain. Dr. Jennifer Heisz describes the research that inspired her book, Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep. During the conversation, she shares the physiology behind why the brain makes it hard for some of us to get moving and how moving more improves our mental health. Journalist Caroline Williams details the evidence behind the findings included in her book, Move: How the New Science Can Set Your Mind Free, and shares the neuroscience of how dance and movement can increase human connection and help us manage stress.
Dr. Jennifer Heisz — Move the Body. Heal the Brain:
- Why the brain does its best to keep you on the couch and ways to trick it into submission. [2:13]
- The connection of exercise and mental health: Ways to keep the darkness at bay. [5:34]
- Dementia research looks at physical inactivity and genetic disposition: the finding that moving reduces dementia risk. [19:13]
- The effect exercise has on sleep, creativity, and focus. [22:24]
- Jennifer Heisz’s book, Move the Body and Heal the Mind, offers a compassionate approach to healthy aging and life extension. [27:01]
Dr. Jennifer J. Heisz is an expert in brain health. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University and directs the NeuroFit Lab. Dr. Heisz received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience (McMaster) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Brain Health and Aging at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital (Toronto). Her research examines the effects of physical activity on brain function to promote mental health and cognition in young adults, older adults, and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Book: Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep
Caroline Williams— Reduce Stress with Exercise:
- Caroline Williams was interested in what happened between the body and the brain and the relationship between exercise and creativity. [31:55]
- The movement of our feet has a huge impact on the amount of blood that gets to our brains. [34:56]
- Charles Darwin built a walking path to achieve the ideal headspace for problem-solving. [40:34]
- Caroline explains the emerging links between core exercise and stress management. [44:45]
- How physical strength translates to self-esteem and self-confidence. [48:45]
- The neuroscience behind the power of dance. [52:54]
Caroline Williams is a science writer, journalist, and author. She is a consultant for New Scientist magazine and her work has also appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, and on the BBC,
among others. She is the author of two books, Move! and Override.
Book: Move: How the New Science Can Set Your Mind Free
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Best Fiends — Everyone deserves a little downtime. Best Fiends gives my mind a refreshing pause that challenges it in a good way. The fun never ends on Best Fiends because there is always fresh content and something new to explore. Have fiendish fun anytime and anywhere. Download the mobile puzzle game for free on the App Store or Google Play and earn $5 for in-game rewards when you reach level 5.
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Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life — A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now?
H–Factor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.
CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY
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