Why your brain needs a workout too

23/5/2016 |

We all know that exercising to improve our fitness has the knock on effect of helping us be more alert and productive.  Strengthening our brain is also beneficial for enhanced focus, creativity and mental energy. 

Until a few years ago, doctors believed that the brain stopped making new neural connections and that the existing ones weakened as we aged. This meant that memory became irreversibly worse.  Luckily, in the last few years, it has been discovered that you can make new neurons well into old age. Listed below are some activities for strengthening your brain.


Activity Area of brain it stimulates Why and how to do it?
Learn a new skill The intraparietal sulcus, which directs hand-eye coordination. Creates a higher density of white matter – allows neurons to communicate. 

e.g. Juggling, playing a musical instrument, golf/tennis/snooker, crochet/knitting.

Wiggle your eyes horizontally Rapid horizontal eye movements cause the brain’s two hemispheres to interact with each other more efficiently. When you can’t remember something like where you put that report or contact’s details this action may help you pull up information.

Also see Brain Gym exercises to stimulate the two hemispheres.

Take a power nap During sleep, your brain shuffles recently received data into storage. Creates space for fresh information.

Power nap by finding a comfortable place to close your eyes for 10 -15 minutes – remember to set the alarm on your mobile.

Coach and mentor others The prefrontal cortex, which analyses, plans, and problem-solves.
The social and mental activity required for teaching sends blood rushing to this part of the brain.

Why not volunteer your services to a charity, school or small business.

Try adding a brain boosting smoothie to your regular diet:
Combine 1 banana, ¼ cup blueberries, handful of hemp seeds, ½ cup apple juice and blend until smooth.

By Julia Richards

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