Exercise (adapted from “Brain Rules” by John Medina)
Michael Sieverts is a brain cancer survivor since 2000. He is the instructor for Cancer Support Community’s qigong classes in the parks. Roxbury Park classes meet every Tuesday & Thursday from 10:30a.m. to 12 noon and at Clover Park every Monday and Friday from 9:30 to 11:00a.m. Free to all those affected by cancer. Call 310-314-2555 for more information.
Properly done to avoid depletion and injury, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your cognition. Early human brains developed in almost continuous motion, hunting and gathering food, walking vast distances daily. Only recently have we become physically idle.
All exercise increases blood flow and oxygen levels. Increased oxygen to the brain is associated with improved cognitive function. Exercise rids the body of stress chemicals, and boosts brain power. It cuts the risk of dementia in half.
My observation is that the healthier you are, the easier it is to survive the treatments. If you have the “luxury” knowing that a treatment or procedure is imminent (as opposed to requiring an emergency surgery), prepare yourself by getting as strong as possible. Train as if you’re training for a triathalon, you’ll need all the strength you can muster.
Your regular exercise:
● Exercise daily, but not necessarily vigorously—at least 30 minutes, out in natural light and fresh air when feasible.
● Power walking, swinging light weights in your hands to involve your upper body, is a great way to get exercise. Human brains evolved as we walked great distances, and it remains the best all-round exercise.
● Gentle yoga, Feldenkrais, Qi Gong—explore to find the ones that work best for you.
● Any exercise that makes you feel light—that’s the right one for you.
● Avoid exercise that depletes you, which is bad for your immune system.
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT FROM MICHAEL: SLEEP (ADAPTED FROM"Brain Rules" by John Medina)
The Cancer Support Community-Benjamin Center offers many different exercise options for its members. All classes are at no cost to participants. 1)'Core Strength' every Wednesday from 6:15 - 7:00pm with Eileen Johnson, PT; 2) 'Feldenkrais Method' every Wednesday from 1:30 to 2:30p.m. with Marci Spiegler, MS, GCFP; 3) 'Move to Heal Dance Class' every Monday from 6:00 to 7:00pm with Eva Wieland; and 4) 'Pilates: Return to Health' every Tuesday from 3:45 - 4:45pm with Sandy Shimoda; 5) 'Qigong' (see schedule at top of blog) with Michael Sieverts; 6) 'T'ai Chi' every Tuesday from 5 - 6pm with Marianne Lu; 7) 'Yoga' CSC has 7 yoga classes-please check website for dates and times; 8) 'Zumba' every Tuesday from 6:15 - 7pm with Alejandra Ortiz. Always check calendar for holiday changes or call 310-314-2555 for more infomation. CSC vallidates parking.