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How exercise can make you happy

Anyone who has ever gone on a run will be familiar with that "runner's high” feeling -  that euphoric sense you get after a jog where you feel on top of the world. And that post-workout good mood isn't just anecdotal: Over the years, scientific research has found that, in addition to physical benefits like living longer, exercise actually does help boost your mood. 

There's nothing like an exercise-induced "endorphin rush”, but  the endorphins only explain a small...

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Genes don’t determine your brain health

The way you live your life can actually change your genetic makeup. Rather than having a set genetic blueprint, our genes can switched on or off at different stages of our life. The field of epigenetics is showing that although our genes themselves are fixed, genetic expression is not. It is malleable and and heavily influenced by our environment and lifestyle choices we make.

It is this expression, the switching off and on of genes, that gets ‘read’ by cells in the body. This...

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Addiction is rooted in childhood trauma

We often think that people can only become addicted to drugs and alcohol. But addiction shows up in any behaviour that a person enjoys, finds some relief in, and therefore craves more of in the short term, but suffers negative consequences in the long term, and doesn’t give up this behaviour despite the negative consequences of their actions.

Addiction can be related to any behaviour, not just substances. It could be cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, nicotine, alcohol. But could...

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How to stop your brain from shrinking

brain health dementia Jul 27, 2021

Your brain starts to shrink as early as your 30s. Even if you seem perfectly healthy, you may be losing as much as 0.4% of your brain or about several million brain cells every year. The rate at which your brain gets smaller increases with age and is a major factor in early mental decline.

Brain shrinkage doesn’t happen to all areas of the brain at once. Some areas shrink more and faster than others, and brain shrinkage is likely to get more severe as you get older.

...

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The benefits of swimming for your brain

We’ve long known that swimming is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that strengthens your heart and circulatory system. But it also really benefits your brain and mental health. It helps the brain to release mood-boosting brain chemicals. repair damage to brain cells and grow brain cells.

Your brain is where your thoughts and emotions live, and a healthy brain contributes greatly to good mental health. Swimming can help lower anxiety and depression. It provides extra benefits for...

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How To Rewire A Brain Traumatised During Childhood

When a child experiences neglect or abuse early in their life, it has a significantly detrimental effect on their physical, mental and emotional development. Trauma can be a repeating event, a sudden single event or a pattern of interaction between an abuser and child. Severe neglect is the most common form of trauma and has the biggest impact on brain development.

The brains of children who have been abused and neglected develop differently. Even before they are born, many children in care...

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Food for a Healthy Female Brain

The Mediterranean diet is perfectly suited to improve a woman’s brain health. Women who follow the Mediterranean diet have younger looking brains. But, unlike women who eat a western diet, show no early brain signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and experience fewer and milder menopausal symptoms. I share a simple step-by-step Mediterranean-style diet plan with the right intake of nutrients to help women keep their brain young, reduce menopause symptoms and protect them against...

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Managing Menopausal Brain Symptoms

brain health Jun 01, 2021

The menopause opens a new chapter in a woman’s life that can take her on a roller coaster ride of foreign feelings lasting easily a decade or more. From hot flushes to low mood to insomnia to forgetfulness, menopause can be deeply distressing for many women. I look at the impact of fluctuating hormones on a woman’s brain health and how to manage well-being during menopause.

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Why Women Are More Likely To Develop Alzheimer’s Disease

brain health dementia Apr 20, 2021

Why are women twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease? I discuss some important differences in the way women's brains age and how this increases their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It’s not that a female brain is fundamentally different to a male brain. But there are some really important differences in the way a female brain responds to hormonal changes at different stages of life that drives brain ageing in women, significantly increasing their...

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