Make Sure You Flex ALL Your Muscles: Exercise Your Brain!
You know the importance of exercising your body. But do you “exercise your brain?” What can you do to ensure healthy brain function and why should you care?
Your brain is constantly moving. Whether you’re a businessman handling a 3 million dollar deal or a wife and mother of 3 little pre-schoolers matters not. Your brain takes in every task, every sound and every sensation. And all those tidbits get tucked away in your brain; some for immediate use, others for a later time.
But sometimes, we get stuck in a rut. We find the pattern that fits the task. So every time we do that task, we seem to automatically go to the pattern. We have “trained the brain” to help us do the task easily. Suddenly, or so it seems, the task or activity has become habit. And some habits are difficult to quit. What can we do?
Make A New Habit
This is where “exercising the brain” begins. By do new things, we help the brain form new pathways for doing things. So, we help the brain grow. This is called Neuroplasticity. Mark Sisson describes neuroplasticity as “the strengthening (or lessening) of existing neuronal pathways (synaptic plasticity), or the establishment of entirely new neurons and connections (structural plasticity).” So, the basics of neuroplasticity means the brain can develop new ways of doing “the same ol’ thing”. Learn more about The Importance of Neural Pathways.
In his article for Mark’s Daily Apple, Sisson explains that neuroplasticity can be a good thing or a bad thing. Meaning, we can gain brain power or we can lose it. Most often, brain neuroplasticity is lost through traumatic brain injury or disease. Sisson explains “Ultimately, neuroplasticity allows us to adapt, to respond, to evolve in real time to a changing environment.”
Don’t Lose It, Use It!
A few suggestions for helping your brain grow include doing new things, learning new skills or even revisiting that hobby you thought you never had time for anymore. Read specific suggestions from Sisson in his article “16 Ways To Increase Neuroplasticity (And Why That’s Important)”.
While you can’t always prevent disease or illness, you can help your brain adapt, helping yourself to better overall health and wellness.
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