Body and mind go together!
Brain training is no more a matter of sitting down on a chair performing exercises with a pen or a computer. You need to shake your body too!
It is well known that what the body does affects the mind. Actually, there is a theory that indicates that the real reason for brains is just to move our body. Hence, we cannot forget to train the body if we want to have a strong mind.
In this post, I will explain you why exercise is important for the brain and which routines can you perform every week in order to stay fit (both mentally and physically).
The Reasons For Exercise
Exercise improves the brain in several points:
- It reduces the pressure in blood vessels, which prevents small strokes in the brain that may lead to neurone dead and small brain impairments.
- Exercising the body acts as a powerful stress reducer. The stress is reduced at two levels:
- Making the body work reduces the amount of cortisol in your brain. Cortisol is the hormone that is generated when we are stressed. If the stress situation is prolonged, cortisol is not removed from the brain and kills the neurones. Doing exercise helps removing cortisol from the brain.
- Exercise releases dopamine, the hormone that makes us feel good. This feeling has a calming effect over our nervous system.
- Stimulates the growth of neurones and the preservation of the already existing ones.
- Improves other brain skills like attention, understanding, and memory if the exercise is done consciously. This means that when your mind is involved in the exercise you are doing (and not just wandering around), then your brain improves all those cognitive skills. For instance, Mike Gonzalez reports how much his aged clients improved brain skills while consciously engaged in his Super Body, Super Braintraining system.
Doing exercise closes the circle of brain training. Meditation makes you more focused, which improves your brain. Memory/speed reading/calculus training makes your brain sharper, which also improves your brain. And doing physical exercise makes you more coordinated, which not only improves your body but also your brain.
A Body Workout
First of all, you must understand that any body training is better than none. If you are practising a sport already and you feel comfortable with it, just keep doing it (checks doesn’t count as sport here, sorry).
However, if you are not practising a sport or would like to change your routine, here there are some advices for the optimal weekly exercise.
The optimal workout should include all aspects of body training, those are, strength, stretch and cardio. Based on that I have defined a training program that includes all those points. Remember that this is only a recommendation. You do not have to follow the training below if you don’t feel like it or have no time. Adapt it to your available time and preferences. It may happen that your results will be less optimal, but you will still benefit a lot from exercise.
Build muscles to have a stronger structure. You can create your own routine from the exercises available at Bodybuilding.com. You can also try a celebrity routine to obtain specific visual results, like the routines described at Popworkouts.com.
Stretch your body to have a wider range of movements in your body. You can create your own stretch program by choosing classical exercises from Bodybuilding.com. Another option is to practice yoga. There are plenty of free yoga programs here. Start at the simples levels and increase difficulty progressively.
In order to train cardio, you only have to run. However, you can take more from cardio training by choosing one of the fitness plans described here. Use a mobile program to track your progress like for example Endomondo.
Now, before you build your complete workout, take into account the following workout combination suggestion. It combines all the previous exercises in a full week training.
- Monday: weight training with chest and triceps. Four chest exercises and three triceps ones.
- Tuesday: cardio for 30 minutes and stretch for 20 minutes.
- Wednesday: weight trainingof back and biceps. Four back exercises and three biceps ones.
- Thursday: cardio for 30 minutes and stretch for 20 minutes.
- Friday: weight trainingof shoulders, legs and abs. Three leg exercises, two shoulders and three abs.
- Saturday: stretch training for 30 minutes.
- Sunday: take a rest.
Stay tuned to Insanity Mind for future specific routines and exercises for your body that enhance your brain (as well as your body).
I would like to end with a very inspirational video where Charles Eugster of 93 years old describes how good for your health, both mental and physical, is to train your body, and how anybody can do that at any age and hugely improve his mental and physical situation.
Are you like Charles Eugster?