“In October of 2000 researchers from Duke University made the New York Times with a study showing that exercise is better than sertraline (Zoloft) at treating depression. What great news! Unfortunately, it was buried on page fourteen of the Health and Fitness section. If exercise came in pill form, it would be plastered across the front page, hailed as the blockbuster of the century.”
“In today’s technology-driven, plasma-screened-in world, it’s easy to forget that we are born movers—animals, in fact—because we’ve engineered movement right out of our lives. Ironically, the human capacity to dream and plan and create the very society that shields us from our biological imperative to move is rooted in the areas of the brain that govern movement. As we adapted to an ever-changing environment over the past half million years, our thinking brain evolved from the need to hone motor skills. We envision our hunter-gatherer ancestors as brutes who relied primarily on physical prowess, but to survive over the long haul they had to use their smarts to find and store food. The relationship between food, physical activity, and learning is hardwired into the brain’s circuitry.
But we no longer hunt and gather, and that’s a problem. The sedentary character of modern life is a disruption of our nature, and it poses one of the biggest threats to our continued survival. Evidence of this is everywhere: 65 percent of our nation’s adults are overweight or obese, and 10 percent of the population has type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition…”
Source: “SPARK - The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by John J. Ratey