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Aug 12, 2011 7:29 PM

Commit to be Fit: Getting energized through exercise

TUCSON - Today on "Commit to be Fit," News 4 Tucson exercise contributor Anita Kellman stopped by to talk about getting energized through exercise.

It doesn't take a gym membership, or even a lot of our time. Kellman says it takes commitment.

This week's exercise is the "Iron Cross"

This exercise targets many muscles at once, Kellman says. The primary muscles it uses are the upper back, and the biceps. The secondary muscles are the glutes and the quads. Remember to not lock your elbows when you extend them laterally. Also, it is very important NOT to use heavy weights with this movement!

This is a great way to build up upper and lower body strength at the same time. You thought exercise only toned your body? But how about exercising to improve your mind?

Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning!

It reverses the detrimental effects of stress.

What's fascinating, though, is that exercise may actually work on a cellular level to reverse stress's toll on our aging process.

It lifts depression.

Research suggests that burning off 350 calories three times a week through sustained, sweat-inducing activity can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. That may be because exercise has been found to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged during depression.

It improves learning.

Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors that help make new brain cells. Not so surprising, complicated activities provide the biggest brain boost.

The exercise that Kellman showed today demonstrates how you have to multitask two exercises at once. This takes some concentration and focus.

You're challenging your brain even more when you have to think about coordination. Like muscles, you have to stress your brain cells to get them to grow.

With school starting, not only the concern of sedentary children, but obesity as well, it is interesting to know that German researchers who found that high school students scored better on high-attention tasks after doing 10 minutes of a complicated fitness routine compared to 10 minutes of regular activity. (Those who hadn't exercised at all scored the worst.)

So let's all MOVE IT! MOVE IT! MOVE! Not only for your health but for your education!

This week's motivational quote:
"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing."

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