Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey everybody, what's going on? Doctor Chad Woolner here and Dr Buddy Alan. And this is episode 17 of the health fundamentals podcast. And on today's episode we're going to be discussing the number one secret to improving brain function. So let's get started.
Speaker 2: (00:13)
You're listening to the health fundamentals podcast. I'm Dr Chad Woolner and I'm Dr Buddy Alan. And this show was about giving you the simple but powerful cutting edge tools you need to change your health and your life. So sit back and enjoy the show as we show you the path to your best life down to a science.
Speaker 1: (00:33)
So he, everybody hope you're having an awesome day. Today we're going to be talking about improving brain function. This is a really important subject. I don't think there could be perhaps any more important in terms of our health because everything starts with the brain, right? Bet. So to set the stage for this, uh, you know, it, it wasn't that long ago that, uh, the, the best and the brightest, uh, in, in the realms of health care and science believed and taught that the brain was very rigid in the sense that you can't really change it all that much. You're born with it. You're born with the brain cells you're born with. And that if something happens, if you have damage to the brain, tough luck, um, you're kind of out of options. It's not going to change all that much. And yet, what is the latest science telling us, um, later?
Speaker 1: (01:25)
The more recent science basically is telling us, our brains are more plastic in nature, meaning that we can recreate pathways that may be, have been damaged or, um, disconnected, if you will. You know, there's, we can continually learn and we can improve. And, and then the reason the study that we're sharing is kind of exciting and important is, um, people, you know, sometimes there are genetic reasons why people have, um, yeah, you know, dementia and, or Alzheimer's or other conditions, right? So if, if you know that there's a little predisposition within your family tree, wouldn't it be nice to know that there are things that you could do on a preventative basis? Absolutely. Yeah. Well, and, and, and, and I think that kind of goes to another subject that we could probably dive deep into, but we were not going to, for the sake of this episode, uh, this concept, it's, it's relatively new, is this idea of what they call Epi genetics.
Speaker 1: (02:20)
Yes. Um, you know, old school science taught us, you know, that your genes where your destiny that you either you were, you were either born with bad genes, are born with good genes. And, uh, there's the old joke that we purred before, you know that the patient who is overweight goes to the doctor and says, well, diabetes runs in my family. And the doctors snarky response back is, well, no, the problem is no one runs in your family. You know, and so ha ha ha. You know, not to make light of, of, uh, diabetes or obesity or anything like that. But the idea is, uh, old school science said these are your genes. This is what you were given. Um, tough luck. You've got some bad ones. It's kind of like a, you know, like a Russian roulette, so to speak, genetic Russian roulette. If you're lucky, you got a good cocktail.
Speaker 1: (03:06)
Right? Right. Yeah, exactly. You got you. You were dealt a good hand, uh, in terms of your genes, but actually what the latest research is showing us in the realm of what they call epigenics. The way I describe it to patients is, and this may not be the most accurate, but at least it makes sense to me is a, think of it like a graphic equalizer on a stereo. You know, if you've got a fancy equalizer where you can shift and change all the different frequencies and whatnot. Uh, that's to a large extent, how are our genes are now being described is with epigenetics based off of environmental factors. We can turn certain genes up, we can turn certain genes down or the expression of those genes, we can turn up, we can turn down, we can turn on and we can turn off certain ones.
Speaker 1: (03:46)
And so there's a lot of different things that we can do proactively to change the expression of our DNA, of who it is, who we are at our, at our very essence. Right. So, so what does this study say? And with that we'll kind of do the, uh, the drum roll. What's the number one secret to improving brain function? According to this study? According to this study, it is exercise and not just exercise, but moderate exercise. Moderate. All right. So, um, and I think moderate. I would use the term interchangeable with it. Consistent exercise. Well, and that kind of goes later in this study is, yeah, they're there. What they're saying is a single episode or a seam, a single exercise routine of moderate exercise can have immediate effects on your brain, on your memory, on your ability to recall. Um, and the, and what they're saying is over time they postulated or expect that this will make dramatic differences longterm in your, um, you know, your, your mental clarity, your mental, um, acuteness I guess if you will.
Speaker 1: (04:49)
So, um, staying sharp, stay in sharp. That's it. This was published in the Journal of Neuro psychological, the, the, the Journal of International International Journal of the neuro psychological society. Correct. Mouthful. Yes, it is a mouthful. You're going to need a lot of brain power just to be able to remember where the study was, you bet published. So continue. So continuing a essentially like again, all we, we always try to simplify stuff here, but exercise and especially moderate exercise, um, increases something called Bdnf, which is brain derived neurotrophic factor, which is like miracle grow for the brain. Basically, if you want to, if you're trying to grow your, your, um, your mind and, and learn and you need as much of this BDNF as you can. So the exercise is going to be huge help. Absolutely in one step further. If you want to repair the brain, if the brain has been injured, if the brain has been damaged, uh, what they show is that if you can increase BDNF levels, you can help the brain, which is interesting because, uh, what they're saying is all old school, um, protocols and science said that, uh, the best approach for people who have had concussions is to rest for a long period of time.
Speaker 1: (06:11)
What they're saying now is that's not the case. They're saying get exercising as quickly as possible because that's going to help promote BDNF. And that's the cool thing about BDNF is that while there are certain things you can take supplemental wise that will help boost BDNF levels and we can talk about that in a minute. You don't have to take those things. You can exercise. And that's a very natural response to exercise. One of the many health benefits associated with exercise. Yet again, one more reason to exercises that your body will produce this, uh, this substance, this chemical called BDNF. Um, and so a very, very powerful, um, therapy. I mean, if we're talking about it that way, you know, exercise is a very powerful therapy that is, uh, I, I still think highly underutilized for people. I'm looking to help heal their brain or make improvements to their brain function or help prevent a lot of these common problems.
Speaker 1: (07:11)
You know, a little side note to this is for many individuals, and I would say at one time for even myself, exercise can sometimes feel like a four letter word, right? It's not fun. It's hard, right? And, and a lot of people are like, yeah, not, that's not me. I don't want to do that. But I would have to just say, even just from things that I've learned about myself over the last several years is, um, it doesn't always have to be super traditional exercise, but find things that gets you out, get you active, things that, that you enjoy. Yup. And more importantly, people that you enjoy them with. Yes. I'll, I'll tell you my own personal story was my wife kind of very, I was very reluctant in doing so, but she drug me out many years, probably six, seven years ago to my very first crotch crossfit class.
Speaker 1: (07:59)
Yeah. And in my mind I was like, I'm a class routine type of a workout. Doesn't sound fun to me at all. Sounds like a dance class, you know, I was like, nope, I don't think that's gonna work for me, you know, so I went to this very, very much thinking this is going to be stupid and I'll tell you again now it's six, seven years later and extra the, these are really hard exercise routines and I gotta tell Ya, it's like I really enjoy it. I enjoy the people I work out with. I enjoy how it makes me feel even on those workouts that trash me. Um, you know, it's like, I really do. It's funny you say that cause I would attribute both a Dr. Allen up until what, about a year or so ago. I worked out at the same crossfit gym as a, as Dr. Allen.
Speaker 1: (08:42)
And I would attribute that same experience, uh, you know, that that same, I had a friend of mine who drug me to it and he's like, you've got to try it. And I like so many other people thought of it as a cult and all that stuff. Uh, crossfits a colt and all that. Um, but after being exposed to the community, that was a big part of it for me as well. The social element of it, of, of being there with friends, people that I enjoyed being around laughing and joking. I am not terribly competitive by nature in terms of sports. I'm just not that, that doesn't drive me, but the social element of it, of being involved with good people and, and um, and, and the, the structure of it such that I didn't have to exert a whole lot of mental energy. I just show yourself, just get yourself there and follow the routine.
Speaker 1: (09:31)
Uh, that was powerful for me. And I attribute that to a lot of positive changes that I made with my health over the years. And I attribute that still to this day too. A lot of my workout routines that I do on my own now. Um, I, I modeled largely after things I've learned from there and just the, the, the model that I know works for me. Sure. And so, um, and I would ask you, you know, so you've been doing it what, six, seven years? Yeah, I think so. And on average, how many times a week would you say over the past six, and I know there's been periods where you're more consistent, less consistent, but all, all in all, when all of a sudden done, what would you say? Um, probably at least three times a week usually for, yeah, three to four times a week.
Speaker 1: (10:10)
So I mean, again, that's the, the, the powerful thing about this that we try and teach again, one of our five fundamentals of health is simplicity and consistency, right? It's that consistency that makes all the difference in the world. And that's the thing that I would say is, I would say over the past three to four years, I have been more consistent. There have been many times in my life, uh, where I have done a exercise for a period of time. Sure. Many times. I remember when I was in, uh, back in college, I had several times where I would go for a month or two and I would get in this routine and I would do it and then I would stop for months and months and sometimes longer than that. And A, and it wasn't until for me crossfit, something clicked in terms of that consistency, um, that, that did it for me and helped me.
Speaker 1: (11:01)
And since then, I would say I've probably been fairly close to that as well. I've had a couple of periods of time, a brief periods where I've been, uh, you know, not as active and engaged with my exercise routine. But now, uh, you know, and again, just looking at it collectively over the past few years. Yeah, I'd say probably around that same ballpark three or four times a week. So all I'm going to say is keep your mind open. Honestly, a good healthy mind is going to allow us to do way more and enjoy way more of this life then if we don't have a healthy mind. Yeah. Um, in fact, one of our upcoming, um, uh, sessions of this here, so episodes, sorry, is looking for the word. You need some more exercise man. It's been a long day anyways is literally kind of talking about the very thing of, you know, exercise and then um, uh, basically just how it's going to continue to help us in bless, you know, so we're not getting old and being miserable as we get older that we're actually getting old with grace as kind of what we're going to be talking about.
Speaker 1: (12:07)
So that's a, that's a great point. Um, no, I, I absolutely, you know, the, the one thing that I would say that, that, that people need to understand is, uh, exercise. Uh, you said something really important there that we need to exercise for enjoyment, not out of PR, not necessarily preventing something we're fearful of. You need to shift, shift the conversation so it's something you enjoy. So anyways, hopefully this has been valuable for you guys and hope you got a lot out of it and we'll talk to you guys in the next episode.
Speaker 2: (12:38)
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