Exercise Can Keep You From Losing Your Mind

There you have it: “Exercise Can Keep You From Losing Your Mind”. I cannot take credit for this title or topic that I am going to jump into. I saw this quote in a presentation today but failed to copy the reference in time. At least I got the quote right 🙂

I sure know that when I am active (running, skiing) I always feel good after my workout. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that “some days I hate working out“. It’s true and it’s okay to feel that way. But after I workout, whether it’s immediate or a few hours later I ALWAYS feel great and that keeps me from loosing my mind.

Lately while being a single parent I feel like I’ve lost my mind……..or was that patience numerous times ? It’s a good thing I work out!

I’ve been managing our active 18 month old who doesn’t sleep through the night (except on January 3rd), our retired sled dog who should be walked twice a day, the house and yard (think bagging leaves and shoveling the driveway) and a full-time job since my husband went back to school in September 2011.  When he decided to go back to school I really couldn’t say no, be selfish and that I wanted him to stay home with us. That’s just not who I am. Really, would it hurt me to be a single mom for 10 months while he got an educationNo, it would not. But I have lost my mind and patience a few times over the last 4-5 months. Good thing it always comes back!

Today I attended a seminar at a local private school about this book called “SPARK”. Let me tell you that I left their feeling pretty inspired about physical activity and what it can do for your body. I may just write the work “SPARK” on a sticky note and place it throughout my house so I can be reminded to workout and remember the effects of physical activity on my body and brain.


“SPARK is a groundbreaking exploration of the connection between exercise and the brain’s performance that shows how even moderate exercise will supercharge mental circuits to beat stress, sharpen thinking, enhance memory, and much more”.


“Exercise can keep you from losing your mind” (Reference Unknown) and get your brain working. Seriously, check out Dr. John Ratey’s website – click on BRAIN GAINS in the left hand corner. It’s a 14:52 minute video about a school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It’s worth the time.

But to sum the video up, a school goes through a change. That change is 20 minutes of exercise on a treadmill at the start of the day and beginning of math class. Three hours later the students have completed their school work without disruptions, swearing and able to focus that entire time.

Dr. Ratey says that exercise promotes growing new brain cells enables people to be sharper, less impulsive, helps their ability to sort through information and effects their behaviour. Exercise “turns your brain on”. (His words not mine).

Exercise. Turns. Your. Brain. On.  I’ve never really thought about that before but it makes sense. After I work out, I feel energized and some days ready to conquer the world…well at least, my world.  Looks like I’m hooked on this topic which doesn’t surprise me, as promoting physical activity is my 9-5 job! I gotta get my hands on this book and start reading.

Today, Dr. Ratey also talk about PLAY. And that our children, youth and YES adults don’t PLAY anymore. This is not new to me and it shouldn’t be new to you either. With the advances in technology …iPad, Cell Phones, Gaming Systems and Computers (yes I am currently on mine) we have forgotten how to play. Nature deficit is a whole other topic that I will blog about some day but for now it’s PLAY and EXERCISE. Remember 4 square, hop scotch, all those skipping games,  capture the flag – these are just NOT happening as much these days because of our increase in screen time.

The effects of exercise for mental health patients is really interesting work, however not an area that I am greatly familiar with…yet. Dr. Ratey did mentioned a few research studies that said those who participated in exercise long term versus taking medication saw less reoccurrence of depression! Again, I’m not an expert but just sharing what I learned today.

Last but not least, he shared a story about a Polar Bear and a group of Husky’s in Canada’s Hudson Bay. The polar bear had not eaten in 4 months and came across this group of husky’s. The owner/photographer captured what he thought was going to be an attack on his team, however that’s not what took place. Check out the link above to see the 4-6 photo slide show – AMAZING!

This is our husky Maclean when we first got her in March of 2008. She was a sled dog with Outward Bound in Ontario where my husband was a staff member. She was retired at the age of 6 because of over heating on the trail runs; she has a thicker coat the other husky’s. She is now 9 1/2 and loves helping us EXERCISE and PLAY!

What keeps you from loosing your mind?

When was the last time you went outside to PLAY?



Other pictures found on Google, book image on Dr. John Ratey’s website.

3 thoughts on “Exercise Can Keep You From Losing Your Mind

  1. Pingback: Fitness Pregnancy Resources (I use) « Piper's Run

  2. Pingback: Happy New Year! « Piper's Run

  3. Pingback: Fitness Pregnancy Resources - Parks and Play - Just another WordPress site

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