“4 Ways To Increase Brain Power”

Mar 26, 2010


How Cardiovascular Work Does it

Did you know that cardiovascular work actually builds more neurons in the brain? Specifically the part of the brain that is most of affected with these new creations of neurons is called the dentate gyrus. It’s the part of the brain that creates new memories. 

But that’s not all, it also strengthens the neural connection making it denser which will in turn enhance your ability to process and store information. And if that’s not enough, studies show that cardiovascular work helps treat depression, and slow diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. For people who work with their brain all day it's a must! Just read what Milan says.

How Strength Work Does it

Most studies on brain health has been done with cardiovascular work for the simple fact that it’s easier for someone to go for a walk then it is to start working with weights. But don’t count this out for brain health. What strength training does that cardiovascular work doesn’t is in increasing your building hormones like testosterone and growth hormone which then affect the brain. Hormones control every process in the body.

After the age of 25 hormones like testosterone start to slowly decrease in men and women. Signs of low testosterone is a decrease in libido but also a decrease in motivation, fat gain, decreased energy, foggy thinking that can also lead to depression. Working with weight helps stimulate your nervous system to grow and to be young again.

How Diet Does It

Our brains are highly complex organs and they need a wide range of 'building blocks' in order for them to function properly including essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water.

A good proportion of the brain (60% of its dry weight) is made up of fat. 20% of the fat in our brain is made from the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. They are termed ’essential’ as they cannot be made within the body, so must be derived directly from the diet. These essential fatty acids are responsible for helping determine the structure of our brain cells and it is understood that they should be consumed in equal amounts or it may lead to disease.

Neurotransmitters are passed to and from within the brain enabling the neurons to communicate with each other. Amino acids are the building blocks that are used to make neurotransmitters and like the essential fatty acids we also have 11 essential amino acids that you need to be consuming in your diet for proper brain function. These neurotransmitters also play a role in how you feel. For example the amino acid tryptophan (found in turkey) produces serotonin which helps relay feelings of contentment.

How Brain Exercises Do It

This list wouldn’t be complete without adding brain exercises. Just like with resistance exercises you need to stimulate the brain to improve. Though you may think that having 20 different passwords to remember on your computer is annoying, it helps your memory improve itself.

Playing games and puzzles are very effective at improving your brain function. Some “brain drains” are stress and anxiety. Also routines and automation will not help your brain, it needs to be challenged and be exposed to new environments the same way you change exercises in the gym because adaption occurs so rapidly and results come to a halt.


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