Thursday, May 19, 2022

How To Exercise Your Brain

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Exercise For The Mind

9 Brain Exercises to Strengthen Your Mind

Just as we need to exercise our bodies to stay physically healthy, exercising our minds can keep us mentally healthy, too. Mindfulness involves training our attention to stay in the present moment, rather than following our thoughts into the past or future. The same way we do certain exercises to strengthen our bodys muscles, with mindfulness we train the brains muscleattention.

Attention is the brains way of selecting one thing to focus on out of the wide range of things in the environment. The brain is constantly receiving information about the world around us from our five senses, as well as interpreting that information using lots of thoughts. There is so much going on in the environment, but we often need to select one thing to focus on, without getting distracted. Attentions job is to keep that one thing in mind, so we can focus on it. Attention is one of the most important brain functions. When attention does not work well we have lots of difficulties, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . In ADHD, people have trouble keeping their minds on one task, which makes it hard to concentrate when trying to solve a math problem at school, for example.

Get Moving For Your Brain

In a recent study, 454 older adults underwent yearly physical exams and cognitive tests for 20 years and agreed to donate their brains for research when they died. The participants were given accelerometers, which tracked their movement and physical activity around the clock.

Those who moved more scored better on the memory and thinking tests, and every increase in physical activity by one standard deviation was associated with a 31% lower risk of dementia, the researchers reported. The association between physical activity and cognitive function remained consistent even after the study authors accounted for the participants brain pathology and whether or not they had dementia, according to the study.

In another recent study, 160 sedentary older people with mild cognitive impairment were assigned to take part in several options. They could do aerobic exercise , eat a heart-healthy Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, combine aerobic exercise with the DASH diet, or receive health education.

During the six-month study, those who followed the DASH diet alone did not improve on assessments of executive function , while the health-education groups function worsened, according to the study. However, those who exercised showed improvements in thinking and memory, and those who combined exercise and the DASH diet improved even more, the researchers reported.

The Importance Of Brain Workout

People often put their main focus on body workout, not realizing that brain workout is as important as jogging or going to the gym, if not more.

Our brains are capable of achieving great things.

For young entrepreneurs brain strength is everything.

Keeping up with your coworkers or with your competition, making big choices and life-changing decisions require a strong will and focus at all times.

Yes, the world is a stressful place and life can be challenging at times.

Sometimes you will find getting up in the morning to be excruciatingly difficult, other times your motivation might be completely gone and everything will seem impossible.

However, you should not be discouraged by this, its completely normal. And yes, there are solutions to overcoming this problem. If you think that the most influential innovators had it easy, you are very mistaken. But what they all have in common is a strong mind.

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Emotional Activity: Mindful & Reminiscent Eating

First of all, think about a meal you remember from your childhood. Then, choose a night this week to cook that meal for dinner. When eating the food, share the details you can remember: Did your family eat this food for a special occasion? Did your family eat this meal because it was affordable and accessible?

When eating, take extra time to slow down with each bite. Before the food even touches your mouth, what smells do you notice? Does the food taste sweet, salty, or sour? Does the food feel chewy, crunchy, or smooth? Are you tasting a lot of flavors blending all at once or can you identify one flavor at a time?

What Sensory System is Engaged?How is that sensory system engaged?
Feeling the food on your utensils, on your hands, and in your mouth
Proprioception Sucking through a straw, eating crunchy foods, or eating chewy foods provide increased proprioceptive input to the jaw How much pressure do you need to use with each bite?
InteroceptionNoticing how your body feels when it is hungry versus starting to fill up. How does your stomach feel when its stuffed? What emotions are you experiencing? A sense of gratitude or thanksgiving?

Scan At The Supermarket

Your brain on exercise

Stores are designed to have the most profitable items at eye level, and when you shop, you dont really see everything there. Brain exercise: Stop in any aisle and look at the shelves, top to bottom. If theres something youve never seen before, pick it up, read the ingredients, and think about it. You dont have to buy it to benefit youve broken your routine and experienced something new. Check out these science-backed tricks for looking smarter.

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Interacting With New People

Trying out new things has a lot to do with your brain because your brain needs to be activated when you are learning or doing something new. When you interact with a new person, you tend to observe a lot of things in that person and that somehow improves your cognition abilities. If you are visiting a new region or area then try to interact with the people in that area. You can just communicate with them for understanding their culture, language, and behavior. This enhances your brain to adapt to new situations and to learn new things.

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Take Care Of Your Body To Take Care Of Your Mind

If you want to take care of your mind, you need to start by taking care of your body.

Research has time and time again shown that people who engage in healthy behaviors such as exercise and proper nutrition are less susceptible to the cognitive declines associated with the aging process.

Studies from 2006 even suggest that exercise can make you smarter and protect your brain from shrinkage as it ages. Research on mice in 2013 has even revealed that exercise can increase neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells, in the brain’s hippocampus.

One study published in 2013 looked at healthy behaviors in nearly 2,300 men over the course of thirty years. Researchers looked at the participants’ behaviors and cognitive abilities starting in middle age tracked their progress throughout old age.

The researchers found that men who practiced certain healthy behaviors were around 60% less likely to experience cognitive impairment and dementia as they age.

These healthy behaviors included not smoking, maintaining a healthy BMI, regularly exercising, consuming lots of vegetables and fruits, and consuming a low to moderate amount of alcohol.

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Brain Rehabilitation Exercises For Overcoming Depression

Just so you know, the reason Im so passionate about sharing my knowledge about how to improve brain function, its because these activities saved my life.

I once nearly lost my life. But these exercises helped save me along with general memory improvement efforts, like those I discuss in my book, The Victorious Mind.

You might also want to consider learning more about vitamins for memory improvement because the ones youre taking now might be causing more damage than good to your cognitive health.

If youre looking for information on how to boost brain activity, definitely add dietary considerations to your neurobic exercise routine.

How Can You Prevent Cognitive Decline

How to exercise your brain

So, what can you do about it? Exercise, exercise, exercise! Specifically, exercise geared towards integrating your brain and body. All of your aerobic activity, strength-building activity, and really any skill development are critical for cognitive health and preventing cognitive decline over time. Try a new practice or discipline such as Thai Chi or Qi Gong, deadlifts, aerials, dance, golf, tennis, etc. At the end of the day, all movement is really important for brain health. A 2015 study showed that those who make aerobic activity part of their life are able to decrease brain disease risk by over 50 percent!

Additionally, I am going to provide you with three exercises that you can do on a regular basis that can be super valuable to preventing these declines, and keeping your brain and body healthy for a lifetime.

1.) Puff breathing with a march

Inhale for two quick sniffs and exhale for four as you march forward.

Extended exhalation-based practice can improve CO2 and oxygen. Oxygen is one of the top two sources of energy for the brain. Take two puffs in through the nose and follow it with four puffs out through the mouth. Add marching, walking, sidestepping, cross crawl pattern.

2.) Cross crawl pattern

Place your hands behind your head and bring your elbow to your opposite knee as you march forward.

3.) Dual tasking

Walk backwards as you count back from 100 by threes.


Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

Also Check: What Does The Hippocampus Do

Turn Familiar Objects Upside Down

When you look at things right-side up, your left verbal brain quickly labels it and diverts your attention elsewhere. When theyre upside down, your right brain networks kick in, trying to interpret the shapes, colors, and relationships of a puzzling picture. Brain exercise: Turn pictures of your family, your desk clock, or an illustrated calendar upside down.

It May Help You Pay Attention

Have you checked your individual alpha peak frequency lately? Probably not, unless your doctor thought you might have a brain issue like epilepsy or Alzheimerâs disease. The iAPF measures your ability to focus and pay attention. It seems to go up after you do some intense exercise. It doesnât change that much after âsteady stateâ exercise like a leisurely jog or bicycle ride.

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Create A Memory Palace

The ultimate brain exercise to boost overall cognitive function is also the easiest. It involves nothing more than a simple drawing that follows some simple principles.

Why is creating a Memory Palace such a powerful exercise?

Take my free memory improvement course and find out for yourself:

First, creating a Memory Palace draws upon your spatial and visual memory.

Its also a great recovered memory and autobiographical memory exercise.

As far as mind exercises go, the Memory Palace training exercise works kind of in reverse.


Because youre accessing visual memory cues that are usually blueprinted in your mind outside of your awareness.

Think about it:

Youve rarely gone into a new home or store with the conscious intent of memorizing its features.

Yet, if you think back to the last home of a friend you visited, heres a fact:

Most people can recall an insane amount of detail with visual memory. Creating a Memory Palace lets you exercise that inborn ability.

You can even use it for memory and learning stunts like memorizing all the Prime Ministers of Canada.

Second, creating a Memory Palace is creating a tool that you can use for life. Once you have one and youve mastered using it, you can create dozens more.

And if you can do that, you can do great things with your memory, like how Matteo Ricci learned Chinese in record time. You can also easily remember names at events and accomplish any memory-associated goal.

And what goal doesnt involve memory?

Do More Of The Same Or Do More

11 Brain Exercises to Keep Your Mind Sharp

Various broader research studies have looked beyond the effect of specific brain training programmes, or specific types of games and puzzles.

For activities to be effective in maintaining or improving our thinking skills as we age, they might need to challenge us in new ways according to these studies. That is, the most beneficial activities for us in later life might be doing things weve never done before.

One of the biggest studies had participants learning either digital photography or quilting, for example. The results suggested that the people in these ‘productive-engagement’ groups experienced benefits in terms of their memory performance.

Although the evidence on the benefits for our thinking skills is still incomplete, there are good reasons anyway for taking up entirely new activities benefits such as increased engagement with other groups of people and the development of new skills.

There is evidence to say that keeping our social relationships active and doing hobbies and activities that we enjoy are important to maintaining quality of life and wellbeing in older age.

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Keep Aside The Technology

Technology is essential for our daily life. But it also makes people as lazy as possible. It delineates the brain function as well. So things like doing simple math and the spelling of words can do by ourselves. Give a chance to challenge your brain by turning off your technological devices for some time.

Pranayama And Mindfulness Practices

Pranayama has numerous health benefits and one of them is improved mental health. It mostly deals with the breathing practices that include focusing on every breath that you take and whenever it comes to focusing then it has something to do with your brain and your brain needs to be in action. Meditation or mindfulness has also a huge impact on your brain health because it calms down your mind and improves your focus.

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Visualization Exercise Secrets Of A Memory Maverick

To remember even more, you can practise creating pictures in your head.

For example, you might see an image of Mel Gibson as he looked in the movie Maverick trying to remember something.

Or you might get a picture in your mind of an agency building and scenes of evil men in suits torturing the hero. Any images and ideas you create will help you become a living, breathing mnemonics dictionary.

For more cognitive exercises on remembering what people are saying with visualization practice, check out this interview with Jim Samuels on the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast. He has some great ideas, and the benefits include:

  • Being more present.
  • Remembering more of what was said.
  • Showing people that youre interested in them and their lives.
  • Easing conflicts when they arise because you remember the issues in greater detail.

As people speak, they translate their ideas into pictures, feelings, related concepts and even tastes and smells.

Take this training seriously:

Youll feel better about your connection to people because youre really with them.

Play Cards With Your Friends

How to exercise your brain

A game of cards sharpens your brain as you try to go for the best winning move. Playing cards helps improve your thinking skills and brain function in many ways. There are different types of card games that you can play with peers or on your computer. Some levels of games are challenging, and these help you improve your problem-solving skills.

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How Does Exercise Help Your Brain

Physical activity may benefit the brain in a number of ways, such as:

  • Promoting cardiovascular health.
  • Lowering levels of stress hormones.

All of these factors can adversely affect cognition, Dr. Bonner-Jackson explains.

Exercise may provide physical benefits to the brain, too, such as increasing the thickness of the cerebral cortex and improving the integrity of your white matter, the nerve fibers that connect areas of the brains nerve-cell-rich gray matter. It also promotes neuroplasticity, your brains ability to form new neural connections and adapt throughout life. One of the key places that happens is in the hippocampus, which is a very important area of the brain for memory, Dr. Bonner-Jackson explains.

Whats especially encouraging is you dont necessarily have to go overboard or meet the physical activity guidelines in order to benefit your brain.

In one recent study, researchers concluded that even among people who did not meet the activity guidelines, each hour of light-intensity physical activity and achieving 7,500 steps or more daily was associated with higher total brain volume. This was equivalent to approximately 1.4 to 2.2 years less brain aging.

There are a lot of potential mechanisms of exercise that may be combining to benefit brain health, Dr. Bonner-Jackson says. In general, even in people who are at risk for development of Alzheimers or other dementias, it can stave off decline in some cases for many years and help people function better.

Stages Of Cognitive Decline

There are three different stages that are associated with cognitive decline.

Preclinical Stage

The first is a preclinical stage where we might notice some memory difficulties or other subtle changes, but it would never show up on an actual test.

Mild Cognitive Impairment

The second is a mild cognitive impairment . In this stage, we might begin to forget peoples names, and we may go into a room and forget what we were looking for.


The third stage is dementia. This is where those types of memory loss really begin to interfere with your day-to-day capabilities to go through life.

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Perform Physical Activity Regularly

Last but not least, lets focus back on exercise.

Evidence in favor of the brain benefits of physical exercise is very robust. In fact, any activity that raises your heart rate increases blood flow to the brain. This results in neuronal structures getting flooded with oxygen and glucose, the energy source axons need to communicate across synapses.

Additionally, young adults who exercise regularly have better memory and attention. Exercise increases the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor , which is key for brain function. BDNF also shows promising results in promoting neuroplasticity in adults and preventing cognitive decline associated with aging and more complex brain health issues.

Finally, in older adults, pairing physical exercise with braining training has an even greater effect on cognitive function.

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