Movement is essential to the function of our heart, lungs, and lymphatic system. Movement is critical to keeping our muscles, joints, cartilage, and connective tissue healthy. Movement aids in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout our body and assists in removal of metabolic waste products.
These are points that the majority of us have either heard about or have come to understand about the importance of movement as it relates to our overall health.
Yet one major benefit of movement is often overlooked - the stimulation of pathways required for proper brain and body function.
Yep, that’s correct. Movement - especially of the spine - is required for proper brain function and coordination of activities such as concentration and learning, motor control, emotions, and optimizes organ and immune function. There is a reason why you experience an increase in mental alertness after exercise or even a visit to the chiropractor. According to Roger Sperry, Nobel Prize recipient in Brain Research, movement of the spine generates 90% of the nerve stimulation used to run the brain. The brain does not simply control the body, the brain requires constant stimulation and that stimulation comes from movement.
Movement charges your brain’s battery and enables you to think, function, and feel better. Sound a bit too good to be true?
The work of some of the most prominent neurologists and physiologists in the world continually support the role of movement in brain and nervous system health.
The stimulation your brain receives from movement – once again, especially of your spine – is now being considered essential to optimal brain function and development. In fact, research is now showing that people who do not adequately stimulate their brain through movement have learning, memory, emotional, and behavioral deficits. This is especially true for children because spinal joint receptor stimulation plays an integral role in the development of the child’s brain and nervous system. The effects of decreased stimulation of the brain in childhood have been linked to central motor impairment, developmental impairments, learning disabilities, and concentration problems like ADHD.
Regardless of your age, the message should be clear at this point: Movement does a body – and brain – good. Get out and get moving.