Friday, May 14, 2010

Neurofeedback and Exercise

We all know exercise is good for our physical health. What about mental health? The benefits of exercise in reducing both anxiety and depression have been clearly established. The Mayo Clinic website, for example, talks about it in this article.

The brain forms more new neurons when we exercise. New neurons are used for change. If you're depressed or anxious, you want that to change. If you want to improve your golf score or SAT, you want those things to change for the better, too.

The training your brain gets from neurofeedback takes advantage of those new neurons.

But what if you just don't like to exercise? Find something you do like that moves your body around.
  • Do you like to compete? Find a team sport to take up.
  • If you hate jogging, put on fast music that you love and dance.
  • Walk - park your car or get off the bus or subway a stop or two early and walk the rest.
  • Don't like yoga or Pilates? Try a martial art.
As well as being good for your brain, as we all know, there are cardiovascular and other health benefits from exercising. Most people with a little thought and experimenting can find a type of exercise that they don't have to force or bribe themselves to do. I think that part is important - that the type of exercise you get is a fit for you and, if at all possible, fun.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

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