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5 Tips On How To Increase Your Brain Power
There is no getting away from the fact that the human brain is an astonishing piece of kit and whilst we actually use more of our brains than some people may have us believe, scientists are still a long way from discovering the full potential of it. Many of us experience days where even the most simple of decisions can become very hard work, or alternatively we suddenly lose the ability to remember things. This can be frustrating, especially if you aren’t of an age where you can be forgiven for doing so. However there are some surprising things that you can do which are known to increase your brain power, so let’s take a look…
If you really want to know how to increase your brain power, there’s a ton of research that links exercise to positive cognitive function. In fact one study showed that the processing speed of the brain in adults improved considerably with as little as 30 minutes exercise a day. So if you want to make it to MENSA, you’ve got to get moving! In addition to cardio fitness, tests have shown that strength training can also help. Lifting weights has been known to increase levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This is the substance that controls the growth of nerve cells which are of course present in the brain.
Whilst for most people a routine is a good thing, if the Barista at your local coffee shop understands what you mean when you say “I’ll have my usual’ then maybe it’s time for something different. Making small daily changes keeps the brain fresh and on its toes. For instance try taking a different route to work, or take the dog for a walk somewhere completely different. The latter may confuse your pooch, but it will do wonders for your mental abilities.
Whilst breaking away from routine can be a good thing, one activity that needs to remain regular is sleep. Studies have shown that those with regular 7-8 hour sleep patterns are far more likely to maintain and improve their cognitive skills. In addition, power naps may be just the thing to help keep you focused. One study showed that 90 minutes was the optimum level, whilst other research suggests that just a couple of minutes can be sufficient to stimulate the ‘old grey matter’.
Free your mind
There is lots to be said for a good old daydream and letting the mind go off on a tangent. It is known to increase problem solving ability and also creativity. Speaking of getting creative…doodling also helps to keep the brain fresh and active, especially during those cognitive tasks which are less than stimulating. Meditation is another great way of clearing your mind of clutter. It is known to improve attention span, decision making processes, and most importantly memory. Try sitting still, closing your eyes and breathing in and out deeply for a few minutes. You’ll be surprised at how much it helps and how good you’ll feel after you’ve done it.
The term ‘brain foods’ isn’t just a myth and if you really want to know how to increase your brain power with food, then read on…Firstly if you like it hot and spicy then you could be on to a winner. Chilli and cumin are well known for being excellent memory boosters and other herbs and spices such as cinnamon and sage can help to ward of Alzheimer’s disease. Fatty acids such as Omega 3 are also known to aid brain function. These can be found in many types of fish, particularly salmon. If you aren’t into fish, then walnuts and flax seeds also have it in abundance. Coffee serves as a great energy booster and is also known to improve short term memory and attention span. So the next time you need a brain boost, pay a visit to Starbucks. Chocolate is another excellent source of brain boost as the poly-phenols found in cocoa are known to slow cognitive impairments related to the ageing process. After reading this you may not feel quite so guilty about devouring that double fudge brownie.
So there you have it…some top tips on how to increase your brain power in more ways that you might think. It may be fun testing some of them out and seeing the results for yourself!