Neurological Fitness and Exercise

Neurological fitness has to do with your nervous system and how it learns and adapts. It is a critical component in your quest to be in your best physical fitness condition as possible which can include losing weight, developing lean muscle mass, and other healthy qualities.

We want to become neurologically sophisticated.

What does it mean to become neurologically sophisticated? It means we become tactically fit. Now, what does it mean to become tactically fit? It means that we have our fitness skills to adapt and improvise just like the special operation forces. Our bodies will not be neurologically sophisticated or tactically fit if we just do the same movements such as regular push-ups every time. Push-ups are a great exercise- but we can elevate our fitness more by adding new movements to this basic foundational exercise. This is what neurological fitness is all about.

In order to build our neurological fitness, we can build on basic movement to compound movements to complex movements.

From basic to compound to complex will empower our neurological fitness and our physical fitness. Our bodies can adapt quickly. We need to improvise our exercises to become challenging so that our neurological (nervous) system will become “smarter” (for lack of a better word).

Just like school, we need to have prerequisite course before we get into calculus. We need to have basic knowledge in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Then, we need to build compound knowledge in algebra, trigonometry, etc. Then, we apply those knowledge to do complex calculus problems in order to develop our math skills. Physical fitness and neurological fitness is similar to that.

For the push-ups, we can learn the basic exercise movement (with strict form such as keeping the back straight). Then, we can learn compound movements such as the corkscrew push-ups where we keep our right arm straight but bend the left elbow (resting briefly on the left elbow). Then, go back to the starting push-up position. Then, do the same on the right side. We need to keep our form by pushing from the elbows. Then, the guard push-up is a complex movement. It is similar to the corkscrew push-up but you bring your hands to your head like you are doing a bicep curl while doing this exercise movement.

Neurological fitness will elevate your fitness level especially when you continually learn new movements and exercises. This in turn will empower and enable you to be at your physical best.

Pilates: The Perfect Exercise Regime for Stress Relief

Modern life is stressful. Indeed, stress is a major contributing factor to many modern diseases and illnesses such as diabetes and a high blood pressure. Stress is known as the silent killer for good reason. Exercise can be a crucial component in the fight against stress and the harmful effects it can have on both mind and body.

So what exactly is stress? In a nutshell it is the reaction of the body to change; that is any change requiring a response or adjustment physically, emotionally or mentally.

Stress can affect our mental, physical or emotional health. Whilst there are times when stress is beneficial in ensuring that you are alert and able to identify potential dangers and threats, more often it is negative.

The negative effects of stress occur when those challenges and changes are virtually constant and without a break or relief in between them. When this occurs tension builds up resulting in stomach problems, raised blood pressure, poor sleep patterns, headaches and even chest pains. Left untreated the symptoms can worsen and more serious health issues may occur.

Pilates is the perfect exercise regime for relieving stress and preventing further physical, emotional or health problems.

So what makes Pilates so perfect for stress relief?

Breathing: a key feature of Pilates. Deep and mindful breathing is crucial. Breathing should be deep so that all air is expelled; a cleansing breath. Not only is the breathing taught in Pilates designed to cleanse but by building awareness of breathing it develops a sense of calmness and helps release tension.

Posture: the exercises in Pilates are designed to strengthen and tone muscles from the center to the limbs. The purpose is to develop strength, alignment and a poised, lifted and balanced body. This will help reduce pain and tension.

Sleep: breathing, body control and alignment improve by following the exercises regularly. Sleep quality will improve as a result.

Endorphins: these beneficial hormones are released when you exercise; they create positive feelings and aid relaxation.

Relaxation: through the emphasis on control, of both mind and body, the controlling and releasing of the muscles during sessions helps relax the body and mind. The emphasis on breathing also helps increase the sense of relaxation.

Focus: this is a key feature of Pilates. Throughout the exercises it is essential to retain focus on breathing and movement. Whilst focusing on performing the movements and breathing it is not possible for other worries to prey on your mind.

Pilates is the perfect exercise regime to relieve stress as it is holistic. It benefits the mind and body through the emphasis on breathing and control. The breathing techniques developed through Pilates can be used outside of the exercise class whenever situations seem to be overwhelming you. Regular exercise sessions will keep your mind and body healthy which in turn will help you to handle stressful situations in a more positive manner.