Newsletter Archive

Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

The Professional Brain Newsletter Archives

Join the email list for a weekly nudge designed to help professionals enhance their brain health and mental strength.  

Walking Pace & Longevity

Studies have shown that the habit of brisk walking can add up to 20 years to a life span, as compared to those with a slow walking pace.  One explanation might be because of a younger biological age of fast walkers, due to increased telomere length.  Telomeres are the end

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Plan to be Outside

Time spent in nature (TSN) is associated with better mental and physical health.  TSN includes urban greenspace, residential and neighborhood gardens, parks, beaches, fields, and forests.  Researchers developed and tested scales to measure TSN self-efficacy (confidence in the ability to take action and persist with an action plan to spend

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Grit & Well-being

Researchers synthesized 83 studies with 66, 518 participants to discover that grit skills are related to well-being.  Grit has been defined as the capacity to persevere in the face of adversity and to maintain a passion for long-term goals.  Well-being in this meta-analysis had two aspects: affect (the presence of

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Why Exercise Improves Mood

The mood boost, sometimes called the runner’s high, following exercise was thought to be due to an increase in endorphins.  Recent research shows that it is more likely to be attributed to endocannabinoids.  Cannabinoids you may already be familiar with include THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and CBD, an

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Alcohol & Brain Size

Alcohol use is a contributor to global disease burden, healthcare costs, and economic losses.  Heavy alcohol use, defined as 3 or more drinks for women and 4 or more drinks for men in a day, has indicated reduction in the thinking brain prefrontal cortex and the memory processing hippocampus in

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Exercise Relieves Impacts of Trauma

Traumatic experiences can keep the brain on high alert.  Chronic activation of the fight-or-flight stress response forms pathways of brain cells that promote hypervigilance.  Unresolved trauma can keep stress arousal stuck in high gear.  Exercise can help rewire trauma-induced neural pathways.  Neurochemicals, such as brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) and irisin,

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Recovery from Stressful Phase

Prolonged stress is a major contributor to biological (premature) aging.  One measure of biological aging, which differs from chronological aging, is telomere length.  Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of our chromosomes. Research has shown that four recovery practices help us recuperate from a stressful period in our

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Self-Concept & Well-being

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – your right.~Henry Ford or Virgil On this last day of Women’s History month, here is some research for: Women, Men, Non-binary Folks, People with feminine/communal and/or masculine/agentic personality traits, and The people who love, teach, or lead them. Intellectual

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The Problem with Grind Culture

Research has shown that working long hours increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.  The heightened stress caused by overwork is believed to increase risks to the cardiovascular system in two ways: The increase in stress hormones, and Behavioral responses to cope with high levels of stress, including an

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Walking with the Wind

The Dutch practice of Uitwaaien (pronounced out-vi-en, emphasis on out) focuses on the restorative mental and physical benefits of being outdoors.  The best translation of uitwaaien is to walk with the wind.  Walking outside, increasing your respiration and heart rate, can relieve stress, create a much-needed pause between activities, and

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Vigorous Exercise Reduces Risk of Pain

Pain becomes more common as we age.  Pain complaints cause work absences and ER visits.  Researchers examined data from 5,802 British participants (41% male) in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, age 50 or over, for a period of 10 years.  Just over 2,400 reported suffering from musculoskeletal (bone, joint

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Sleep Clears Waste from Brain

Research on rodents has shown that they experience glymphatic brain clearance of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during sleep.  Vasomotor (in the arterial wall), respiratory (in the veins), and cardiac (arterial pulse) pulsations drive CSF flow that clears waste from the brain. Researchers monitored vasomotor, respiratory, and cardiac brain pulsations during sleep

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Copyright Debra Austin. All rights reserved.

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