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Sit Ups Keep Your Brain Sharp!

September 16, 2021

Sit Ups Keep Your Brain Sharp!

Here at TOYL HQ of course we are interested in beauty products for women over 40, but we're not just interested in beauty products.

We're interested in helping midlife women live well and the whole point of my book (did I mention that my book was an Amazon #1 best seller?  Of course I did!) is to help midlife women set yourselves up during these years for a cracking old age.  I do not want you going into your latter years as anything less than the best version of you that you can be.

Now, to get to that space requires several things.  You need to value and love yourself enough to put the work into you, you need to value yourself enough to allocate time to you.  You need to believe that you deserve the very best life possible.   I've reached that stage in my head and so I spend quite a lot of time reading up (and working) on living well.  I don't necessarily want to live forever, I just don't want my later years marred by preventable ill health if I can help it.

This leads me to "Move" the book I've been reading by Caroline Williams (, £16.99, but certainly cheaper than this on Amazon & WH Smith).  

Caroline is a writer for New Scientist Magazine and this book highlights so many incredible research projects around the world that look at how exercise and movement directly affect brain health.

Many of the findings are mind-blowing, such as how creativity is fired up by exercise (which I'll expand on in the updated version of my book next year), but the one I found very interesting this week is how the brain is directly affected when we exercise our core muscles - sit ups, to you and me.

Williams highlights the studies by Peter Strick, a Professor of Neuroscience at Pittsburgh University who found a neural pathway between our core muscles and our adrenal glands, which are the first line of the body's stress response system.  In short, even sitting upright and not slouching has a positive impact on mental health.

"Chronic stress is linked to an increased risk of almost every life-threatening disease, from heart disease to cancer," says Caroline, so we know that alleviating stress will positively impact our health.

Well, most of us have low level anxiety all the time about various bits of life so when Professor Strick says "What I can tell you is that this region (the core) has more impact on the Adrenal Medulla (the bit of the gland that produces stress hormones) and we have lots of evidence that there is something about the core as a stress reducing feature" I think we should all take a bit of notice.

So next time you're stressed just consider sit ups.  I hate them as well but with the stress I have I'm just thinking of how well toned my torso will be!

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