Brain Nourishment and Exercise

Brain Nourishment and Exercise

Use it or lose it!  This is definitely true with respect to our mental faculties.  Throughout our entire lives our brains grow and rewire themselves.  The more you stimulate and support healthy brain function the better and longer your mental capacities will sustain themselves.

There are multiple ways to nourish your brain.  The more of these healthy lifestyle choices you can integrate into your life the more you will benefit from a fuller functioning mind.

Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential for ideal nerve function.  Refer to the free Wise Nutrition Course under the heading of Free Health Courses at HealThySelfNow.com for generalized nutritional guidelines.  The brain is particularly sensitive to deficiencies in B vitamins so taking a high potency multiple or B-complex supplement can be helpful for many people.  Getting sufficient protein daily is also essential for brain growth, repair, and function.  Keeping your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day is very important for cognitive and emotional well-being.  That means several small meals throughout the day…each with a bit of protein.  Complex carbohydrates and vegetables rather than simple sugars and refined carbohydrates will also help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent spikes of highs and lows in energy.

As high as 80 % of individuals have a relative nutritional deficiency that adversely affects their brain function that can not be remedied by a balanced diet.  These individuals may have a genetic predisposition for a greater need for nutrients.  Or their nervous systems has been damaged by physical trauma like a concussion; chronic stress; chemical contamination; prescriptive or recreation drug use.  These individuals need very specific, targeted nutritional supplementation guided by lab tests to ideally correct for the neurological damage.  Refer to Brain Neurotransmitter Balancing for guidance with this approach to a healthier brain.  People suffering from neurotransmitter related diseases will definitely want to research this avenue.  For the most thorough scientific explanations of nutrition and brain health go to Nutrition Protocols.

Sleep 

One of the healthiest things you can do for your mental health and cognitive function is getting sufficient and deep sleep every night.  Most adults need 8 hours of sleep per night. Many of those who say they need less are actually sleep deprived and their brains are functioning sub-optimally because of this.  There are only a few individuals who actually need less than 8 hours of sleep per night.  Children and teens need 9-10.  Refer to the insomnia guidelines at HealThySelfNow.com for more detailed information.

Physical Exercise

Scientific studies have consistently found that moderate, regular aerobic exercise improves the health of the brain by supplying it with more oxygen.  Thirty minutes of brisk walking 5 days per week is a minimum for stimulating good blood and oxygen transfer to the brain.  Fun, safe sports are often a good way to get physical activity, socialize and stimulate the brain in diverse ways.

Diverse Mental Exercises

A variety of mental exercises can keep different modules of the brain healthier when young and as we get older.  One type of verbal exercise will help in a different way than mathematical exercises.  Variety is the spice of life and that holds true for the health of varied brain function.  Challenging yourself is also a key factor.  Exercises that are hard and push your present capacities stimulate new nerve growth and reinforce already existing capabilities.  Below are some suggestions that have been found by scientific studies to help significantly in building healthier brains:

Play a musical instrument

Participate in daily meditation and mindfulness practices.  Refer to the free Consciousness Hygiene Course  under the heading of Free Health Courses at HealThySelfNow.com for detailed instruction and guidance with this.

Learn a language

Play video games

Do crossword and sudoku puzzles

Read books

Socialize more

Computer Based Brain Exercises

One type of these exercises is Biofeedback.  Electrodes are placed on the skin of the scalp to monitor brain electrical activity and then through a series of specific exercises we can exercise the brain to relax more, focus better, shift tasks quickly, etc.  There are numerous neurofeedback practicioners who offer these services.  The best biofeedback software is the BioIntegrator.

Another type of  exercises you can do on your computer are Brain exercise websites such as Posit Science and Luminosity.  There is question about the scientific validation for stimulating improved brain function in ways that have appreciable impact on everyday life.  Luminosity has some free brain games to try and Posit Science provides free trials of their exercises.

You now have many ways to build a healthier brain…time to get started!