Get up and MOVE, it's good for your brain!

Posted at 17 January 2018 in  by Graham Rock

Your brain evolved for one purpose – to make you move.

As modern humans, we unfortunately spend most of our day in a chair. As a chiropractor, a huge part of my life is spent educating patients on the health risks of sitting too much. But in this post, I want to uncover the real reason your brain needs to move to survive.

Your nerve cells need three things to stay alive:

  1. oxygen
  2. energy
  3. stimuli

Okay, so the first two are pretty simple for most of us; just breathe air and eat food – easy. But what you may not realise is that most of the stimuli the ten-trillion nerve cells living in your massive human brain receive actually comes from movement.

And you thought doing a Sudoku while listening to Bach was good for your brain!

It is true that keeping the mind challenged with mental, auditory and visual stimuli provides the nervous system with excitement. However, it’s the simple act of moving your body that really excites your neurons.

Daniel Wolpert is a British neuroscientist and he has a compelling argument as to why movement is the key to unlocking the potential in our amazing brains. He states that humans only evolved brains to produce adaptable and complex movements. He then suggests that things like our senses, memories and emotions influence our movement that, in turn, influence our environment with the end game of improving our reproductive success.

Simple right?

Want to keep your brain? Move!

Wolpert uses the example of the sea squirt. A sea squirt starts out life with only a very rudimentary nervous system, and once it implants itself on a rock suitable for the rest of its life, it then proceeds to digest its own brain. He goes on to summarise with my favourite quote,

“Once you don’t need to move, you don’t need the luxury of a brain.”

Dr John Medina goes a step further by linking movement and a healthy brain in his book Brain Rules.

We (our brains) evolved under conditions of constant motion. By moving we increase oxygen flow to the brain and increase electrical stimuli, which improves our cognitive skills, mental sharpness and, most importantly, protect our brains from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Creating movement in our modern world

As modern humans, we have a huge challenge in creating movement in our environment, which has evolved very much towards a sitting posture. So don’t feel bad for sitting – you are literally forced to (most of the time). However, it’s the movement you insert into the rest of your day that has the greatest positive effect on literally every aspect of your life and health.

And just to be clear, movement is not the same as exercise. Movement is simply the act of physical activity – exercise comes later and with practice! Sometimes your body needs to re-learn how to move and that’s where chiropractic saves the day (again). That’s the really exciting part about my job as a chiropractor – I get to restore function (movement) in the neuro-musculoskeletal system (your body) by providing your brain with much-needed movement stimulus (an adjustment), using nothing but my hands!

After re-reading these words I am so inspired and excited to get out of this chair to have my weekly adjustment, after all, it's good for my brain.

Daniel Wolpert: The real reason for brains

If you'd like to make an appointment with Dr Graham so you can move again you can book here.

The information provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. If you are a patient using this Site, you should seek assistance from a health care professional when interpreting these materials and applying them to your individual circumstances.

If you have any concerns about your health, consult your general practitioner. Information provided on this Site does not imply endorsement of third-party services or products and cannot provide you with health and medical advice.

Graham Rock
Graham Rock
Dr Graham is a manual adjusting Chiropractor that utilises multiple techniques and modalities to get the best result for his patients during their appointments. Dr Graham also utilises several soft tissue techniques to compliment his patients’ musculoskeletal adjustments.
Latest Posts by Graham Rock
Top crosschevron-down