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by Lucy Miller
A Fitness and Nutrition Expert
Working out not only keeps you happy, trim and fit but also can boost those brain cells. Just one 30-minute workout session is enough to pump extra blood to your brain, delivering the oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at max efficiency. Cardio also floods the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem solving, and decision-making. And new research has found that this kind of exercise may even cause permanent structural changes to the brain itself.
But what else can you do to help boost your brain?
Taken every day, these essential omega-3 fatty acids can protect your brain by slashing your risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease over the years. But you don’t have to wait years to see the benefits — because fish oil can fire up your neurons and get your brain working to the max right now.
One of my favorite products is Eskimo Brain Sharp, which is toxin free and packed full of omega 3 fats to help keep cells supple and elastic.
When working out I love listening to Podcasts (especially Jillian Michaels!) and audio books. It’s great to know that while I’m working my body out, I’m working my brain out too. Gym time is my time and I love to learn! Try it. You’ll absorb more information than you expect!
Experts say that chewing gum helps reduce the formation of bacteria and improves jaw muscles; it also makes you feel more alert. Chewing on some mint-flavored gum reduces feelings of tiredness and improves memory, plus the peppermint is said to give you an exercise lift, after researchers found that athletes who sniffed peppermint during their workout ran faster, had greater grip strength, and could do more press ups than those who didn't. Pass us the Wrigley’s!
Ever been on the treadmill and been in a world of your own? Well that’s great! When you allow your mind to wander a bit, it gives your brain a much-needed break. And researchers say the human mind becomes more active and better at problem solving when they daydream a bit. Cardio is a great time to do this, as when you’re lifting weights it’s actually best to concentrate on the muscles you are working to help engage your muscles that little bit more.
Wholegrains like brown rice or rye bread served with a protein source of course, is great for recovery – and also great for your brain! Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy and the ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate, steady supply of energy. Achieve this by choosing wholegrains with a low GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day and your workout.