Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Turn On Your Brain . . . Part II

The last post introduced Brain Balancers and Brain Benders as 2 of 4 Brain Basics needed to chart the course for peak plasticity and pave the path to overall good health.  Here are Brain Basics 3 and 4:

Brain Boosters
Physical exercise is necessary to keep the body and brain in top form. Make sure to start the oxygen flowing even if it’s just from walking. Stretching in the morning also helps to wake everything up -- including your brain. Whatever you do, get the blood and endorphins moving! Go to the gym, go for a run, ride a bike, take the stairs, swim. Try yoga which is both meditative and physical and has the added benefit of mentally directing the brain.  Competitive sports also do this because the challenge is to be both physically and mentally alert. Exercise is important now and at every life stage. It will keep you physically fit, clear your mind, help you focus and become psychologically therapeutic. It boosts metal processing and can protect the brain from decline in old age. Most people agree that they feel better and perform better when they exercise. Your brain will say the same.

Brain Bolsters
You are what you eat. So take a minute to think about your intake. A balanced diet is a must and more and more research suggests that vitamin supplements are, too. Antioxidants (cleansers that ward off deterioration), omega-3 acids (promote brain development and function), folic acid (blood levels), selenium (mood), complex carbohydrates (function) and vitamins B (function), C and E (antioxidants) can all be found in fresh foods or taken as supplements. Berries, grapes, prunes, spinach, salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, yogurt, oat bran, garlic and tuna are just some of the many foods that provide one or more brain bolsters. Gingko Biloba (memory) is probably the most commonly known supplement and fish oil high in omega-3 (farm grown, no mercury) is said to be the brain’s best friend -- for life. Feed your body, feed your brain.  For more information, check out

Activity engages brain plasticity and apathy encourages brain atrophy. Complacency turns the brain “off.” New challenges keep it “on.” So, go ahead and challenge the brain with new activity and new ideas.  Make exercise a priority and exercise your right to be the best you can be. Direct your thoughts to the positive and keep physical and emotional chaos in perspective through the ability to balance.  Provide nourishment and get the opportunity to live life a little larger, a lot happier, and definitely healthier.  RELAX. SET. GO.

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