Blog Archives

Inactivty & the Brain

I’m sure you’ve heard many times that being active is great for your brain, but did you know that being inactive is actually bad for your brain? Your brain is something that is ever changing — it doesn’t just stop evolving once you hit a certain age. How do you do something like this? You exercise! I read a really cool article called How Inactivity Changes the Brain from Well which is based off of a study found in The Journal of Comparative Neurology. This study was done on rats (yes, I know rats… but they said they the results are likely to have implications for humans as well) by scientists Wayne State University School of Medicine. Here’s a quick summary on what they found:

  • 12 Dozen Rats
  • 1/2 rats had a running wheel where they could run anytime they wanted while 1/2 didn’t have the wheel and had to remain sedentary
  • 3 months later, a dye was injected into the rats that would illuminate certain parts of the brain, specifically that affecting the heart and lungs
  • Active rat’s neurons were still shaped the same as they were when the study started
  • Inactive rats’ nerouns changed in a way that would make them easily over-stimulated leading to a potential increase in blood pressure which potentially could lead to heart disease
  • “This finding is important because it adds to our understanding of how, at a cellular level, inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, Dr. Mueller said. But even more intriguing, the results underscore that inactivity can change the structure and functioning of the brain, just as activity does.”

Research done by:

  1. Nicholas A. Mischel1,
  2. Ida J. Llewellyn-Smith1,2,
  3. Patrick J. Mueller1,*

Article first published online: 20 DEC 2013

DOI: 10.1002/cne.23464

Want more information? Check out the study’s abstract and the full study here:;jsessionid=6AD3A6FF01EE4E469863C34EADE28869.f03t01

Check out the article here:


What your Body Shape Says about You

Did you know that certain body types are at risk for chronic disease more than others?

There are two basic body types to know: pear-shaped and apple shaped.

Pear Shaped: For those who are pear shaped, fat is stored on your hips, thighs and glutes. Women are more likely to have pear-shaped bodies, however, there are obviously exceptions. If you are a woman and have this type of body, you also generally have a smaller upper body, including smaller breasts.

Apple Shaped: Fat is stored in the abdominal region, making you appear more “round”. For women with this body shape, they typically have narrow hips and larger breasts. This body type is more often than not, found in men.

So you’ve determined you’re an apple or a pear… so what?

For those of you who are pear-shaped, you’re in luck. These people are at less risk of chronic diseases because the fat is more as an insulator and in a protective area.

Apple shaped individuals, on the other hand, are more at risk for developing diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, increased blood pressure, decreased insulin sensitivity and decreasing the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. Apple shaped individuals are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. Ever feel a man’s ROCK HARD belly? These bellies are definitely not good for you. There is a massive amount of fat surrounding his internal organs.

Pear shaped individuals are not “off the hook” when it comes to this type of body though. It has been noted that pear-shaped individuals are more likely to develop cellulite and varicose veins.

What should I do? Start to exercise, especially if you’re apple shaped. Do some cardio, lift some weights (even just low weights and high reps), eat the right types of foods. For those women who are pear shaped, I always tell myself this when deciding whether or not to indulge in something (I am also pear-shaped) “A moment on your lips, forever on your hips”.

Take care of yourself. I always want the best for you.


Some information from:

Did you know?: The Cold Hard Truth of Being Sedentary

In my perfect world, I would have a job that allows me to be up and moving on a regular basis. My background is in Kinesiology, therefore, I am constantly wanting to move. One day I will have a job that will allow me to do this, but I currently have a desk job. I know about all the risks of being sedentary, but people don’t seem to be bothered by it. Some people are comfortable being sedentary but do you really know the cold hard truth of what it’s doing to your body?

Here are a few potential risks of being Sedentary from my CSEP-PATH notes:untitled

1. Increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
2. Increased risk of coronary heart disease
3. Risk of premature mortality (yes, I just said… being sedentary may cause you to die earlier)
4. Increase risk of unfavourable body composition
5. Increase risk of high blood glucose levels
6. Decreased fitness (you won’t be able to carry out those daily habits as easily)
7. Decreased self-esteem
8. Decreased academic achievement

Are you curious to see how active you are? Go out and get a pedometer or download an app on your smartphone which does the same thing. Pedometers are great for tracking the amount of steps you take in each day. You may be surprised at how much or how little activities you do each day. At the end of the day, write down the amount of steps you take and try to increase your step count by approximately 100 steps each day. You can do it!

Sitting is the New Smoking

Ever heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking”? Research is finding that being sedentary for long periods of time can be attributed to many chronic diseases. For example, those who spent at least 4 days of their day sitting and watching TV had an 80% increase risk in death from heart disease compared to those who only watched 2 hours of TV. Take every opportunity you can in order to be active. My suggestion? Just get up and moving! Join us on the walking club running every day at 12:30pm.

For some more evidence and facts about the risks associated with sitting for prolonged periods of time, read the rest of the article here: