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8 Effective Ways To Boost Your Brain Power

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8 Effective Ways To Boost Your Brain Power

The brain is an integral part of us which we don’t know much about. As a result, we’re unknowingly neglecting and degenerating it. Studies on how to increase brain power are being heavily researched upon because what we know about our brains is just the tip of the iceberg. Unlock the full potential of your brain, and life will never be the same again.

While we continue to dream of the endless abilities that come with a brain working at full potential, here are 8 ways that you can effectively boost your brain power right now!

1. Keeping Your Blood Sugar Level Balanced

Headaches are usually dismissed as a common problem which will subside eventually, but we rarely know what is the cause of it. However, by keeping your blood sugar level balanced, you’ll be saving your brain’s white matter which are the areas where nerves speak to one another.

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According to Joseph C. Masdeu, MD, PhD, of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, by having a high blood sugar level all the time, you risk damaging the blood vessels in your brain which will in turn, affect the white matter.

2. Eat Enough Essential Fatty Acids

By not eating enough essential fatty acids, we run a higher risk of getting neurological problems such as dementia, depression, and even schizophrenia. This is because our brain cell membranes are derived from these fatty acids, so does 60% of our brain mass.

In order to ensure that you have a healthy and functioning brain, you’re encouraged to take more fatty fish such as cod, salmon, sardines or tuna. You can also find these good fats in coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil.

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3. Reduce Your Stress Level

Stress releases a hormone called cortisol which is secreted by the adrenal gland. By being constantly stressed, you could be doing more damage to your brain than you think. According to Joe Herbert M.B Ph.D, too much cortisol damages the hippocampus which is in charge of you memory.

Too much cortisol production inhibits the hippocampus from creating new nerve cells and this can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Stimulating Your Brain

According to Murali Doraiswamy who writes for the Scientific American, brain games do help to stimulate the brain and make it more resilient to degeneration. In one of the best studies to date, 487 adults aged 67 to 93 were made to go through a brain fitness program. The brain training group reported better results than the control group with improved confidence, better recall of shopping lists and being able to hold a conversation in a noisy setting.

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5. Reduce Inflammation To Your Brain

When our body is fighting against a virus or a bacteria that has entered our system, our immune system is activated by what is called a Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissues (GALT) which as its name suggest, lies in the area around our gut. Inflammatory mediators are then released by GALT which can create systemic inflammation, causing the protection around our neurons to deteriorate.

In the long term, our neurons will weaken due to these inflammations. To reduce this, it is best to eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits and nuts.

6. Drink Green Tea

You’ll be surprised that drinking this easily consumable tea can boost your brain power tremendously. Green tea catechins, which is an antioxidant have been proven to reduce cognitive dysfunction and improve your memory. Studies done by the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen in Germany, also showed that green tea can help to improve focus and attention.

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7. Exercise

Maybe you’ve heard this many times, but physical exercise is also one of the keys on how to increase brain power. A study done by the department of exercise sciences at the University of Georgia concluded that just 20 minutes of exercise can help facilitate information processing and memory functions. A UCLA study also showed that exercise can help increase the growth factors of our brain.

8. Have Adequate Sleep

Most people have the common perception that when we sleep, our brain sleeps. But in actual fact, our brain is pretty much awake at certain times during our sleep. One important thing that our brain does when we are physically asleep, is to  have its toxins cleared out. The glymphatic system which is like our body’s waste system helps clear out our brain’s toxins. Have too little sleep, and your body will not clear out the toxins fast enough which could be one main factors leading to Alzheimer’s disease.

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Lim Kairen

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Last Updated on September 8, 2021

10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

“You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous

Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.

Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.

And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.

Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.

In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.

Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.

Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.

1. I don’t have enough time.

This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.

First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”. 

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Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?

A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.

Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.

2. I’m way too tired to workout.

Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.

If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.

You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.

If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.

3. But exercise is so boring!

You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?

So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.

The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.

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If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.

4. I have no motivation to workout.

If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.

What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit.  Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.

That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s  backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.

The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.

Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.

5. I have kids to look after.

One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.

Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.

If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.

You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.

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6. I don’t have anyone to train with.

What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.

Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.

By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.

7. I don’t feel very well.

After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.

At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.

If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.

8. The gym is too expensive or far.

If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.

The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite.  Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.

There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.

If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.

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9. I don’t know how to train properly.

If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.

However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.

People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.

10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.

This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.

The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.

Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.

Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.

Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)

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