CogniFit's Science blog: A Daily Work Out For The Brain

A Daily Work Out For The Brain

The brain is one of the least known about but most studied parts of our bodies.

The brain fascinates scientists as they continue to try and unlock the mysteries surrounding exactly what it is capable of. It is one of our greatest challenge of the first part of our century.

It’s fascinating to note that those of us who have an interest in keeping ourselves healthy will often set aside time for the gym and take extra care about what we consume in order to keep our bodies working at their maximum potential while completely neglecting the one part of us that could also benefit from a daily workout.

 While some diseases and ailments might simply happen anyway, brought about by poor genetics, environmental factors and out bodies chemistry, there is still a lot we can do to slow down certain processes and in some cases even prevent them taking hold.

The brain is our body's communication centre and as such is constantly on the go, even when we are sleeping. An organ that is working so hard needs to be in tip top condition in order for you to function at your best.

So let’s look at a few simple but really beneficial ways to keep your hardworking brain fit and healthy.

Keeping the blood pumping through our veins via regular excursive is crucial to keeping the blood flowing to the brain and encouraging the growth of new and healthy brain cells. For those of you who suffer from medical conditions that make vigorous exercise difficult please note a short walk around the block once every other day lasting around 20 minutes will still give you and your brain a real boost and is very worthwhile, it’s said that regular rather than strenuous is the key to the beneficial exercising.

It stands to reason that because blood flow is one of the key factor to a healthy brain, any foods we consume that cause our blood to thicken and clog up our arteries are bad brain food. When considering how to eat in order to maximize brain potential you should work along the lines of healthy heart, healthy brain (think brain health)

What’s good for your heart will generally be good for your brain too. Foods packed with high cholesterol should be limited to once in a while treats where as fruits, vegetables (especially dark leafy greens), some nuts, fish and non fatty meats should be your staple diet.

Try to remember that even if the food is healthy it is still possible to gain weight if you do not control your portion sizes. Being overweight in mid life is thought to double your chances of acquiring brain diseases such as dementia in later life.

The old saying ‘Use it or lose it’ should be your daily motto, those of us who engage ourselves in activities, especially activities that involve others will find our brains stay active for longer.

Keeping in touch with friends, taking part in local community events all play their part in keeping the brain functioning. Of course you cannot be with other people 24/7 but there are activities you can do by yourself which will help your brain far more than just watching television in the evening.

Picking up a good book will keep the grey cells ticking as your eyes send signals to your brain for it to decipher and work out; imagination is needed when reading thus adding another set of instructions to your brain for it to work on in contrast with TV which requires none.

And obviously, train your brain from home with a scientifically validated brain fitness software.

Once you begin to consider your brains health you will find it is not too difficult to make a few minor changes to your lifestyle and the benefits won’t just be for your brain, they will have a knock on effect on your entire body.