The best brain exercises you can do for yourself is to get off that couch and work out. You probably haven’t thought of real exercise, where you get on a treadmill or work out at the gym as brain exercises, but you should start now.

There are so many risk factors that can wreak havoc on your brain – strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks, diabetes, etc. Most of them are related to obesity.  Regular exercise lowers the levels of plaque build-up, and the veins and arteries are able to continue to pump blood that feeds your cells.

The best way to add power to your brain is to strengthen your body. Your brain relies on oxygen and nutrients to survive. When your oxygen level is low you can’t concentrate. If you can’t concentrate you can’t learn. If you can’t learn your brain does not process information and the “use it or lose it” philosophy kicks in – if you don’t use your brain cells they die out.  Physical exercise actually increases the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain so you can think clearly.

 Over the last ten years research has verified that you actually grow new brain cells (neurons) in the area of the brain that is responsible for memory – the hippocampus. A National Academy of Sciences study in 2007 showed that “a three-month program of vigorous aerobic exercise seemed to produce new neurons in this area (the hippocampus), as well as showed improvements on tests of mental recall.” Participants who exercised one to two hours per day for four days a week increase the number of brain cells by 30%.

What are all the benefits of exercise:

  • Lose weight
  • Improved memory!
  • Stronger heart and lungs
  • Better concentration
  • Sharper thinking ability
  • Longer life
  • More energy
  • Feel better physically
  • Look better physically
  • Increased ability to fight off disease
  • More endurance
  • Reduced stress
  • Better cholesterol
  • Improved digestion
  • Stronger bones
  • Better ability to sleep

Fitness expert Robert Sweetgall, who has walked over 70,000 miles in his lifetime, explains: “Exercise helps oxygenate (supply oxygen to) the brain. This supply makes it function better.”

If you are physically not able to get up and work out, try some simple isometric exercises at home while on the computer or watching TV. For those who have remained in their chairs for far too long – get up and move! If you can’t get motivated to do it alone, go to a gym, workout center, senior center or get some friends to work out with. Any exercise is good, even 15 minutes a day of walking, but if you don’t push yourself you won’t accomplish anything. If you want to start by walking, increase the time each day. If you start out 10 minutes on the treadmill, the next day make it 11. The more you push yourself the better you will feel, and the brighter you will be!

This is Ron White, and I am a two-time USA Memory Champion, memory training expert and memory keynote speaker.




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