Aging Gracefully Challenge - Day 15 – Healthy Brain with Fasting and Exercise!

Yesterday we looked at nutrients that can support our brain. Today we are going to look at Intermittent Fasting and HIIT Exercise.

INTERMITTENT FASTING: Jesus said to His disciples “when you fast…” not “if you fast…”. God designed our bodies (and our souls) to benefit from fasting.

Studies have shown that if we eat too often or eat too many carbohydrates, our bodies can create too much insulin. This in turn can lead to the development of amyloid plaque. Amyloid plaque is a type of protein that sticks together (or folds over) and blocks the synapses of the brain leading to Alzheimer’s. Fasting is effective at stopping this process in two ways.  First, by keeping blood sugar and insulin levels low it stops the development of plaque. And secondly, after 16 hours the body starts the process of autophagy (removing the damaged and misfolded proteins that lead to amyloid plaque.) An intermittent fasting pattern might be something like 16 hours fasting / 8 hours eating. This would have an eating window between 12 noon to 8pm then fasting from 8pm to 12 noon the following day.  This will put the body into autophagy.

HIIT EXERCISE: Consider High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT involves repeated bouts of high intensity exercise (up to 80 and 95% of your maximum heart rate) followed by a recovery period (i.e., a 30 seconds high intensity session, followed by a 90 second recovery period). You can use workout machines, but there are some good HIIT videos on YouTube, also.  HIIT elevates a protein in the brain that promotes the growth of new neurons (information messengers) and has been shown to prevent age-related cognitive problems.

Other health benefits of HIIT are:
Burns a lot of calories quickly
Increases metabolic rate for 24 hours
It can reduce heart rate and blood pressure
It can reduce blood sugar 

Day 15 Challenge – Fasting and Exercise 1) Pray about whether Intermittent Fasting and / or HIIT exercises would be helpful for your health. 2) If God gives you the go ahead, get started today.

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