So we know that our brains are immensely powerful and they are so important to every single thing that we do in life. But how do we look after them? We keep our bodies fit, but how do we keep our brains fit? While you already know that getting exercise is the way to keep your body physically fit, don’t forget about how important it is to keep your brain in shape, as well. By following a “brain fitness program,” you can really make progress towards improving brain performance.
According to an interesting article I recently read on new brain science, there is more evidence pointing to the benefits of keeping your brain fit and healthy. After all, a well-functioning brain helps you to maintain a more positive outlook, experience more happiness/confidence, and increase focus.
Five Steps to Improving Brain Performance
There are five things you can do to get started on the brain fitness program:
#1 Fuelling Up
Keeping your brain in top working order starts with the food, or fuel, you put into your body. Eating healthier is a smart thing to do for overall health, including improving brain performance and your the health of your brain.
Your brain diet should include plenty of green, leafy vegetables, in addition to cold-water oily fish (canned light tuna, salmon, trout, cod and sardines). Eating these types of fish which are high in omega-3 fats is good for your heart, too. Round this all out with fruit, berries, seeds, whole grains and dark chocolate. Don’t skip meals or fall for those crash diets, neither of which are good for a fit brain.
As you may already suspect, sleep deprivation is one of the worse enemies for brain function.
Lack of sleep makes focus and concentration nearly impossible. Not getting enough sleep almost guarantees mistakes and mood swings.
The goal is to consistently give yourself between 7 and 8 hours of good, uninterrupted sleep.
The brain benefits of getting good sleep include keeping emotions under control, retaining details and improving long-term memory function. It also allows for better recall and feeling better.
Start yourself on a regular, consistent sleep schedule and your brain will truly function far more efficiently.
#3 Taking Breaks
Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks throughout the day. As it turns out, your brain needs breaks to function well throughout the day.
You see, we experience peaks and valleys of energy broken down in periods of 90 minutes during the day. By allowing yourself to take a 15-20 minutes break every 90 minutes, your brain will operate at a higher level in less time. The breaks will actually conserve more of the brain’s energy and allow you to get more done, thus improving brain performance.
#4 Breathing Room
In addition to giving yourself breaks throughout the day, it’s also important to give your brain some space to quiet down. When your brain becomes overloaded, it’s like you’re in a fog, unable to concentrate, make good decisions, solve problems or think clearly.
A good way to give your brain some downtime is to meditate, which allows the brain time away from all of the stress of the day.
When you step away for a few minutes and allow your brain to experience some quiet time, it can “reset” in order regain clarity of thought. Listen to music, do some breathing exercises, or taking a walk are all good ways to give your brain a rest.
Not only is exercise good for your body, as mentioned earlier, but it also does wonders for your brain and helps to improve brain function.
By getting around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, you help the level of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. This helps increase overall health and improves brain function. In addition, regular exercise is a real mood booster, stress reducer and helps clear the mind for more creative thinking and learning.
The more we flex our brain muscles, the better the brain will work for us. By following the tips here and consistently following a brain fitness program, you can enjoy a more focused, sharp mind in no time.
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