Boost Your Brain Power

Can’t find your keys?  Having trouble remembering the name of the restaurant you were at at last month?  Perhaps you need to improve your brain power.  Better memory, sharper thinking and enhanced creativity are just a few of the benefits of boosting your brain power. Try these tips to train your brain to be more effective and efficient.

Exercise. Research shows that aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Consistent exercise also helps the release of hormones that provide an excellent environment for the growth of brain cells. And of course, exercise increases blood flow which means more oxygen is being delivered to the brain.

Meditate. Using MRI brain imaging technology, a Harvard University study in 2000 found that people who meditate increased the neural mass (gray matter) of the brain regions. These brain regions are associated with long & short term memory, focused attention, deep thought, and overall brain power.  Meditation also simultaneously quieted the electrical activity associated with anxiety, depression, fear and anger.

Get Enough Sleep. Deep sleep is one of the fundamental ways to make your brain stronger. Your brain replenishes neurotransmitters and clears out cellular waste during the deeper stages of sleep, leaving you clear-headed when you wake up. Deep sleep also slows down brain aging.

Eat Right.  What you eat directly affects the function of your brain.  The brain uses about 20% of the body’s caloric intake, so give it what it needs for optimal performance.  Omega-3 fatty acids aid in building and repairing brain cells –  incorporate oily fish and nuts into your diet. Antioxidants affect the brain by lowering cellular stress and inflammation – some antioxidant-rich foods include artichokes, berries and dark chocolate.

Stay Mentally Active.  Treat your brain like a muscle and give it regular workouts! Be a life-long learner. Stay curious about the world around you. Do crossword and sudoku puzzles. Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. Read more books. Activating the neural pathways in the brain strengthens them and creates new connections. Mental stimulation improves brain function and reduces the risk of cognitive decline so challenge your brain every day!

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