A noted neuroscientist reveals groundbreaking research on how fitness and exercise can combat mental health conditions such as anxiety, dementia, ADHD, and depression, and offers a plan for improving focus, creativity, and sleep.
Jennifer Heisz shares paradigm-shifting research on how exercise affects the brain, finding that intervals of intense workouts, or even leisurely walks, help stop depression and dementia, lessen anxiety and ADHD, and encourage better sleep, creativity, and resilience. Physical inactivity is the greatest risk factor contributing to dementia and anxiety—it’s as much a factor as genetics. In addition, exercise’s anti-inflammatory properties make it the most effective treatment strategy for those who are depressed and don’t respond to anti-depressants. The book focuses on overcoming inertia; using exercise to help fight addictions; how we can improve our memory with fitness even as we age; and, importantly, how exercise can help us sleep better, improve focus, and be more creative. Included are easy to use plans for unique aerobic and resistance workouts designed to strengthen the brain.
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer J. Heisz is an expert in brain health. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University (ranked Top 25 in the world) and directs the NeuroFit Lab, which has attracted over $1 million to support her research program on the effects of exercise for brain health. Dr. Heisz received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience (McMaster) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Brain Health and Aging at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital (Toronto). Dr. Heisz's research examines the effects of physical activity on brain function to promote mental health and cognition in young adults, older adults and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Many honors and awards recognize Dr. Heisz for her outstanding contributions to research including the Early Researcher Award from the Government of Ontario and the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award.
“Finally, a clear and accessible guide to the latest science on exercise and brain health. Heisz lays out what we need to do, and—better yet—explains how to tap into neuroscience to get past the obstacles that derail so many exercise journeys.” — Alex Hutchinson, author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance
“Dr. Heisz combines her unique perspective as a leading researcher in the field of exercise and mental health with her personal experiences to deliver an accessible, engaging, and informed perspective on how movement can heal the mind.” — Martin Gibala, PhD, Professor of Kinesiology and bestselling author of The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter
“Dr. Heisz’s book gets to the core of why we should exercise and explains how. Whether you’re taking your first step on your fitness journey, or you’re an Olympian in recovery mode, we all need inspiration and a great strategy—look no further!” — Adam Van Koeverden, World & Olympic kayaking champion and Canadian Member of Parliament
“This book is in part an essential wake-up call to the importance of movement and exercise to so many aspects of our overall health, and in part a delightful journey getting to know Jennifer, the person behind the research. Mostly it is a practical, step-by-step guide on how to take her fascinating insights and turn them into action.” — Mark Tewksbury, CC, MSM, co-author of The Great Traits of Champions
"Regardless of your age, fitness level, or science acumen, an inspiring and engaging read! Dr. Heisz effectively explains the evidence behind the brain-boosting effects of exercise and how everyone can and should move their body to reap the benefits." — Lynn Posluns, President of Women's Brain Health Initiative