My First NeuroDevNet Workshop
It was actually by some miraculous force that I attended my first NeuroDevNet workshop. Okay, actually it was a lovely lady who lead me in this direction and I am glad she did. I am a very curious person and someone who really likes to ask questions, learn, share about pretty much anything related to all sorts of health and humanity. Bits and pieces of everything help make up who we all are and I feel that is important to acknowledge and consider in all aspects of life. This is also why I like to do my best to read as many research journals and books and listen to whomever I can at conferences and through webinars and podcasts on everything! It can be a challenge sometimes to find legit conferences that pique my interest, workshops, and the like so I really appreciated this NeuroDevNet experience.
What I appreciated most was the genuine passion of everyone in attendance. While I did have to leave before getting to hear the last two speakers, I was fortunate enough to hear John Ratey, MD (Is Exercise Snake Oil for the Brain) and Matthew Pontifex PhD (Physical Activity Induced Modulations in Cognitive Control), as well as taking part in a really fun break out session. I believe NeuroDevNet is putting out a white paper so specifics and further information you can find through their organization. I will give you the gist of some aspects of the talk in the third paragraph.
John’s talk was full of energy. This, I will bet, is due to the fact that he understands, values, and practices the superpowers of exercise! The takeaway from his talk supported what I already knew; exercise most certainly is not snake oil when it comes to being a solution for so many health problems. It actually baffles me that it is still such a challenge to get people of all kinds from regular everyday people to CEO’S, to policymakers and government shareholders see that exercise is not just a nice recreational idea, but that it is a must to our everyday existence, preventive and curative health issues, and overall quality of life.
Matthew Pontifex lead a talk sharing a variety of research that his team has been doing, as well as some of the others, which again simply showed the value and support for exercise in terms of prevention and treatment. Exercise, physical activity, training, and sport/games are not only able to prevent a massive array of diseases, but it is a FACT that it can help treat so many of them too. From a variety of metabolic and diseases like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, to mental health and cognitive related illnesses, to neurological diseases, exercise can help make a difference as part of the overall equation.
It honestly hurts my heart that so many people do not love themselves enough to take their health seriously while it is even more painful that our society creates the perfect environment that is not conducive to overall health (not just exercise-related). Please do not take that initial comment as an entire viewpoint on things because health in general and factors involving it are not that simplistic. Self-love is a big part of it though but even that is quite complex. How can even major corporations not understand that if their teams are holistically fit, in all aspects of that meaning, that their bottom lines will actually be better?!? If you don’t want to believe me whomever you are reading this, please listen to yet another researcher, a doctor, who is telling you that moving is magical.
Over the years the majority of support for exercise has been primarily focused on more aerobic components of exercise as being beneficial, there is a lot of newer research finally supporting the benefits of anaerobic and resistance training being of high priority for faster benefits, and THAT needs to come out to the masses more. Do not discount any forms of exercise and movement as beneficial to some degree of course but always aim for the modality that will provide your greatest short and long-term value.
It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are, physical activity, exercise,training, sports and play will transform you forever IF you let it!