Move The Body, Heal The Mind with Jennifer J Heisz , PhD (NeuroFit Lab)

Dr. Jennifer J. Heisz is an expert in brain health. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University and directs the NeuroFit Lab, where she researches the effects of exercise for brain health.

Dr. Heisz joins me on this episode to talk about her research which examines the effects of physical activity on brain function to promote mental health and cognition in young adults, older adults and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Her book: Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep, focuses on overcoming inertia; using exercise to help fight addictions; how we can improve our memory with fitness even as we age; and, importantly, how exercise can help us sleep better, improve focus, and be more creative.

Main Topics include:

  • Why exercise works better than – or along with – SSRIs for anxiety and depression (I have a story to share about how I accidentally did that)
  • When reading the description (or even the title) of your book, it almost seems like exercise is a cure-all wonder-drug (too good to be true) how can just moving your body be so effective?
  • When it clearly does wonderful things for us, why is it so hard for some of us to get moving? Why does our brain make us lazy?
  • How can physical inactivity be the greatest risk factor contributing to dementia? Isn’t it all genetics and bad luck?
  • Do you need to do an Ironman Triathlon in order to get the brain benefits of exercise? What is the “most effective” workout program?
  • For my audience (mostly women over 40) what are your top three exercise tips to get better mental health, better memory and better mood? Basically to keep our brain young (as you say in the book). 
  • Where can people find you, your work and your book?

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