In this blog, we’re bringing you something a little bit different by way of a book recommendation.
The reason why this book struck such a chord with CP+R (and hopefully you too) is because if we had a manifesto, this would pretty much be it.
It’s called Move!: The New Science of Body Over Mind; written by author Caroline Williams who has penned a superbly written account of the positive benefits and latest research around how the art of movement impacts both physical and mental health, with a sharp focus on cognitive function.
Here we share with you our five top takeaways from the book as a quick taster:
1. Psychological trauma and strength
A history of psychological trauma has been found to be strongly linked to movement-related disorders later on in life. A study of emergency first responders for the World Trade Centre attacks showed that they had half the grip strength of people a decade older.
2. Yoga as a clinical ally
Clinical yoga has started to show effective improvements in individuals with IBS. This type of exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which relaxes the gut and leads to better passage of food. We’ve known for some time now that exercise can be effective in reducing stress but this is newer evidence and some of the first to show the effect of yoga specifically in clinical conditions.
3. The benefits of breathing for brain function
There’s a fascinating chapter in the book on the use of breathing and related exercises to improve decision-making, memory and focus. A 2016 study shows that if we can synchronise our breathing with our brainwaves, it can have a substantial, positive impact on how our brains work.
4. Dancing your way to better decisions
Evidence shows that, generally, people make better decisions when they’re moving about or have just completed a session of movement (even if it’s just dancing around the kitchen). This is because it can help prevent the brain overthinking or exaggerating the thought process.
5. The importance of good rest
Learning to rest effectively could help lower the chances of developing Alzheimer’s as it gives the brain more chance to ‘cleanse’ itself of metabolites that build up through the day.
Words of wisdom:
“The brain evolved not for us to think but to allow us to move – away from danger and towards rewards. […] Moving is at the heart of the way we think and feel. If we stay still, our cognitive and emotional abilities become seriously compromised.” – Caroline Williams