You train your body - and your muscles respond. You tackle cardio sessions, no matter how much you may dislike them, and your body fat levels drop. You pay attention to supplementation, and your energy levels respond positively You always remember your vitamins and hygiene habits, and you have clean skin to show for it. But what about your mental acumen? Are you devoting resources to adequately training your noggin? Let's look at a few ways exercise benefits your brain, and some things you can do to help boost your mental horsepower!
New brain cells… from cardio?
The human brain is a flexible entity, continually growing and developing itself, based upon external stimuli. One such stimuli is cardiovascular exercise. While most of us get up on that treadmill or elliptical machine each day with hopes of eradicating our fat stores, we are also sending a great deal of blood to your brains. This boosts brain function, allowing for greater circulation to areas which perform the actions of emotions, planning, decision making, and behavioral choices. In other words, we think more clearly when we have more blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, and cardiovascular exercise does exactly that!
Hit the weights to hit your brain!
Did you know that weight training also sends your brain blood, in the same manner as cardio training? Studies have shown just one training session each week leads to a reduced risk of brain injury and deficit, including ailments such as depression, fatigue, strokes, and decreased function of cognitive abilities.
You'd be surprised to learn just how many muscleheads you see in the gym are quietly starting each day with yoga. Why? One reason is that exercises based upon posture boost circulation and brain activity, leading to increased focus and better moods. Pick up a yoga app, and give it a try. You may end up falling in love with the inner peace it can help to deliver!
Are you short on time? Never fear? Look into HIIT training, or high intensity interval training. Short bursts of intense training, even for only 15 minutes per training session can provide additional nourishments to the neurons in your brain, boosting mental acumen. Sure, it's not a 45 minute cardio session… but the added boost in circulation provides some benefit. It's always better to train longer, but our schedules don't always allow for it!
If you've ever read up on muscle repair and recovery, then you probably already know the importance of sleep and rest in the rebuilding process. You grow when you're at rest, not while you're training.What you may not know is that the brain also repairs when you sleep. Toxins are cleared out, and daily wear and tear is repaired. Memories are forged. Inflamed tissue is allowed to heal. Above all, the central nervous system is allowed to reset. When you're sleep deprived, you make poor decisions and think in a cloud. Sleep more, think better!
Supplements for brain health?
Looking to boost your mental power and recovery? Supplements may be right for you. Enjoy greater memory and concentration, and limit memory loss. Think more clearly. Recover faster from stressful days. The supplements you'll want to consider include Phosphatidylserine, L-Theanine + Caffeine, Creatine, Huperzine A, Choline + Piracetam, Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, Asian Ginseng. Try one supplement at a time, using your journal to mark down the changes you see in your daily function. Eventually, you will stumble into the combination of brain-boosting supplements that work best for your body's chemistry!
Eat right, think right.
If you want to think more clearly, then it's time to get your healthy fats in order! Omega-3 and omega-6s are essential for brain function. Blueberries, wild salmon, nuts and seeds, and avocados should headline your weekly shopping brain power list! You should also be drinking plenty of water to ensure optimal hormone and other levels.
Your body is a collection of systems which work together each day, providing you with the tools you need to eat, walk, lift, learn, laugh, love, and read useful articles. Many hours are spent by young trainers, focused upon learning everything they can about targeting their bodies. They learn to build muscle mass, and increase strength. They learn how to eradicate body fat, and present their hard-earned physiques with grace, style and dignity. And very often, they overlook the biggest organ of them all, responsible for everything they think, realize, and decide on a daily basis… the brain! Understanding the key roles that exercise plan in boosting circulation helps you to realize you have to train your body if you wish to improve your brain function. Additionally, learning more about supplementation, training, and diet will help you to make the most brain growth each day. Good luck!