Good morning! Hope this finds you well. This week the walk has given us a whirlwind of activity and an avalanche of good news. Please trust that we are actively working on ways to transfer this abundance to you. The walk is a gift.
Anyway, last week I was fortunate to witness many inspirational patient visits. I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but I find some days in the office feel like they have a theme. For whatever reason, Tuesday’s was ‘Clarity’. Our patients were consistently sharing how happy they were and specifically spoke to the clarity they were seeing in their life. One of our morning patients was surprised, saying they “weren’t even walking that fast” when they figured out a long-standing unsolved problem from work. Another morning patient shared that since they “finally started walking” they noticed they were able to consistently get “all the way through” the NY Times Crossword puzzle. Interestingly, she now waits until after
her daily 2 mile walk to do the puzzle.
A Poli Sci professor from a local university was another fascinating patient that afternoon. He had just gone for a swim over lunch. As I entered the room, he was frantically writing in a journal and didn’t even look up when we entered. In his lap lay the book with an intricate algorithm drawn out on the left hand side of the page with maps and a pencil sketch of the Middle East. He was exuberant; was he working on the Crisis? These successive stories got me thinking. All of us know that exercise immediately helps our brain, but I didn’t know exactly how. Is it all endorphins?
Turns out there’s something else, BDNF. We release this Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in times of exercise. It serves as a protective and a reparative tool to our memory neurons. Almost acting as a reset switch. This, along with endorphins, is what makes us feel so good. They act in a very similar fashion as nicotine, morphine, or heroin. Only one little difference, they are good for us (and if caught ‘using them’ we won’t be doing 5-10 on Riker’s). Check out this picture:
While this is really cool, please wear a hat. You don’t really want people staring at you, “Hey, look at the smart person with the rainbow head.”
HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY!
Dr. Laxman Iyer in Dixon, IL
celebrates five years with the Walk! Many thanks to Dr. Iyer, newly certified Nurse Practitioner Tina Iyer and Carol Jimenez.
“Our walk has been going great. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! We still walk in the park and it is always beautiful scenery. Sometimes we see wildlife or just hear the birds chirping….both are very enjoyable. We would like to recognize Carol, the secretary at our office. She goes above and beyond to help keep the walk going. She has been with us from the beginning and rarely misses a walk. She keeps things organized and we think she is the star of our team. Also, this year we had a new patient, Gary come join us. He is an elderly man that was barely able to walk the 0.4 mile circle when he first came. 6 months later he was not only doing the 0.4 mile circle but also the larger circle that is 1.5 miles and going down a rather steep incline to the river and back (in all probably 2.5 miles).”