It's virtual conference month for me! How about you? Are you learning anything online right now? If so, reply to this email and let me know.
HANDS UP for life long learning! I'd love to know what you've been learning lately.
This week I attended my national accreditation organization, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology's annual conference.
This is the conference I get to "geek out" at as it is the top researchers across Canada speaking about exercise science. I take what they present and package it into bite size science nuggets to share with my patients and clients and YOU.
The big standout this year was about ENERGY.
How often do we (me included) talk about how we are too tired or lack the energy to exercise? And usually if we do move our bodies we feel more energized afterward?
Turns out the big energy maker in our bodies is the Might Mitochondria in each and every cell in our bodies.
To learn more about this powerhouse organelle, watch this great video that helps explain it more!
When we participate in an acute (meaning one) session of exercise our bodies will build the total number of mitochondria in the cells. It is the total number and size (larger equals more energy production) that provides the ENERGY to move our bodies.
What I wasn't aware of and learned this week was that for every acute exercise bout, we signal mitochondrial turnover. Meaning, it is not only the growth in number and size of this energy provider, it is also the "death" of the poor or non-functional mitochondria in the cell.
So essentially out bodies are able to clear out the garbage mitochondria and build new and better ones with each and every SINGLE SESSION OF EXERCISE.
Cue the fireworks! 🎇
Our bodies are phenomenal systems that not only adapt but also clean up for themselves. I wish I could train my kids to clean up there left overs after they devour their dinner!
Now I don't have any evidence that this physiological process is linked to post-exercise energy. It is hard to believe that there isn't something to it. I've got some more investigating to do...
So if you need a reason (or another reason) to move your body. Just think how your own body cleans up its own cells, so that YOU can function better!
Again, if you are learning something new virtually, let me know! I get super excited about how we can be life-long learners. Hit the reply button and let me know,
Want to know more? Click here to read and watch a video about the research that is going on in Canada related to the mitochondria and exercise science.
Stay well and happy moving,
This weekend I am attending the 14th annual Pain Society of Alberta virtual conference. The first session that I attended was by Dr. Norman Doidge, a trained psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, author and researcher. He was speaking about the neuroplastic approaches to pain.
If you are not familiar with neuroplasticity, it is the way the brain is able to adapt and change. Once thought as a machine like organ, the brain is much more "plastic" than once thought. His approach is that pain is a dysfunction of the brain.
My interest to this particular talk was two-fold. First, I work with people who deal with pain on a regular basis as do I (if you missed my story before, you can read it here). Secondly, I also have a fascination with the power of our brains and how it adapts to various stimulus related to memory and function.
My attention is further focused on the patients I work with in the program, Moving for Memory. This is a 10 week supervised exercise and cognitive program I facilitate at the Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network for people with mild cognitive impairment. Unfortunately, due to COVID19, we are unable to offer this program in person but I am always keen to learn new aspects of brain health. If you want to read more about the program, I wrote this article with my co-worker, Physical Activity and Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Moving for Memory Program, back in 2018.
I was happy to hear in Dr. Doidge session that the messaging I provide in class to patients is in alignment with his research. He is supportive of the power to move the body for brain health. Research has suggested that during exercise there is an increase in blood flow to the brain. This promotes neurogenesis in areas that control memory and thinking, particularly increases the size of the hippocampus, which is the area involved with learning and verbal memory.
Who would have thought that the benefits of being physically active could have a profound affect on the ever changing brain?!
Furthermore, in my experience, having positive experiences while moving your body (i.e., it is enjoyable, fun and engaging) can help solidify the behaviour as something you want to do not simply that you have to do. Dr. Doidge noted that "what fires together, wires together", something we say in the Moving for Memory class and links to the importance of having positive associations with exercise.
Sometimes I think we need to give our brain much more credit! After watching his presentation, I feel like I have so much more to learn. I hope to find copies of his books to read more!
In the mean time, here are three interesting articles on how exercise does change your brain:
Why Exercise Is Good for Your Brain
Just 10 Minutes of Exercise Can Help Your Brain
For Your Brain’s Sake, Keep Moving
Stay well and happy moving,
Welcome to those of you who recently joined my newsletter! I am so grateful for each and every one of you. It is a privilege to land in your inbox every week. 💗
I would be remiss if I didn't talk about gratitude on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. So, what I have today is a brief video and challenge for you.
This video I made last year for The Why I Move Project and the content still rings true this year. I'd argue it probably is more important this year than ever before. All of our schedules have been disrupted and adapting our physical activity can be challenging at times. Thus, reflecting on how I am grateful can instill a worthiness that all I do has purpose and meaning.
If you haven't heard it before, 'gratitude can change your attitude'.
Click on the video and find out what are three ways I am grateful…
Now your challenge!
👉🏼 Why are you grateful for your physical activity?
👉🏼 What has physical activity, sport and exercise given to you?
I hope you too can find value and benefit to your physical activity routine.
Wishing you a warm and physically active Thanksgiving! 🦃
Stay well and happy moving,
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa