- Wendy Suzuki discovered the miraculous effects of exercise on the brain when she started working out more herself.
- Her research has revealed how a single workout can improve your ability to shift and focus attention.
- Suzuki is creating a startup called BrainThrive that she hopes can dole out tailored exercise “prescriptions”.
NYU neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki says some of her most groundbreaking research started after she gained 25 pounds. When she hit the gym, Suzuki noticed that the extra exercise was helping her focus and making her feel happier. Those observations led her to focus her research on the productivity-enhancing, mood-elevating effects of regular exercise.
Now Suzuki is hoping to bring brain-boosting workouts to the masses.
To help people age better and work out smarter, Suzuki is developing a kind of tailored workout formula for keeping the brain fit, like personal training for the mind. She’s aiming to launch a new startup based on this idea, called BrainThrive, before the end of 2018.
A prescription for working out
Eventually, Suzuki wants BrainThrive to develop individualized exercise “prescriptions” — detailed instructions for when to work out, how long, and what to do that vary from person to person. Studies have shown that all kinds of workout routines, from aerobic heartbeat-boosting routines, to weightlifting and meditation, can each be helpful for different conditions.
For example, aerobic activity, which carries fresh oxygen to your muscles and flushes away stale carbon dioxide and lactic acid, has been shown to help reduce “chemo brain” in breast cancer survivors. Yoga is a proven treatment for patients struggling with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while bicycling may help kids with ADHD feel more peaceful and calm.
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