Sean McCool (yes that’s his real name) from AWAI had a number – 7 actually – tips for improving your BrainPower. I’ve been adding all 7 into my routine and find they REALLY do help make me a better, more productive thinker. So I’m passing them on …
1. Engage Yourself in Regular Exercise … 7-10 minutes
Do simple exercises like Dr. Oz’s seven-minute yoga routine. Or try five 40-yard sprints followed by some deep stretching. Either way, you’ll need less than 10 minutes.
Exercise triggers the release of neurochemicals known as endorphins, which produce a feeling of well-being. And this puts you in a better state of mind to think, plan, develop, deliver, whatever.
I use NPR as my reward. I listen to it while I’m doing AT LEAST 30 minutes at 2+ MPH on the treadmill in my office.
2. Supplement Your Diet … less than 1 minute
Natural supplements not only keep your body healthier, they also maintain the fitness of your brain. This results in better brainpower! You can start with a good multivitamin and then add in brain-boosting nutrients like Ginkgo biloba, and anything high in omega-3 is a great place to start. For more, just Google brain-boosting supplements.
This is an easy addition to your daily routine that takes less than a minute. It can go a long way to increased energy and clearer thinking.
Yes. Especially a multivitamin that has Ginko first thing in the morning with breakfast. With breakfast is an important add to the list. Eat a protein in the AM with a carbohydrate and then add vegetables and fruit for lunch with another small protein and finally no fruit after 4 PM and mainly vegetables in the evening. Add in 2 snacks of protein (I like peanut button on apple slices) in between and remember to drink LOTS of good water.
3. Use Your Brain … up to an hour
If you exercise your body, you should exercise your brain as well. Don’t just sit in front of the TV in your free time. Get out and have stimulating conversations. Take a night or online class in a subject you find interesting. Take up a hobby that uses a different part of the brain than writing, like woodworking, painting, or learning to play an instrument.
Better yet, combine your body and mind exercise with sports like tennis, basketball, or martial arts.
I’m a third degree black belt in karate … not. Okay so I do watch some TV, but I also spend my evenings reading, writing emails, checking websites that interest me (especially the neurosciences and how the brain learns).
4. Play Games … replace waiting time, TV time, or lingering on social media
Ever sit around waiting … for a kid to get out of school … in a waiting room … for your husband/wife/kids as they get ready to go out? Have you killed time watching TV or surfing mindlessly on Facebook?
Try to use some of that wasted time for mentally stimulating games. You can find brainteaser apps for your smartphone. Or try a good old-fashioned puzzle. Play the right games and you can increase your brain power.
We have a Wii and I am a great bowler-golfer-tennis pro. So there … plus I occasionally play online Texas Hold’em (does that count?).
5. Enjoy an Educational Hobby … an hour here and there
Choose a hobby that forces you to always be learning and improving your skills. Avoid monotonous activities. Photography is a good example of a brain-stimulating hobby as there are always new tricks and techniques to figure out. (As an added bonus, you could even supplement your income once you know a few photography tricks found here.)
I garden, which feeds my brain and body and adds a certain amount of exercise as well! It’s the perfect trifecta of BrainPowering.
6. Sleep Well … 6-8 hours
Sleeping is the time when your body rebuilds and recharges itself. Most professionals believe that you should sleep for at least six to eight hours a night.
I also try to take 10-minute power nap during the day. I take my power nap at about 3:00. The nap, believe it or not, works better than a double-shot espresso with 2% skim milk. Just don’t nap and drive …
7. Relax … 12-60 minutes
Because of the stress of everyday life, your brain is exhausted just as much as your body. You must take the time to unplug and relax. The phrase “Be still and know…” comes to mind. You may want to try meditating to give your mind a break from all the hassle. Meditation is simply sitting or standing very still and very quiet. Try to put all your worries out of your mind and relax. It will be tough at first. But you’ll get better with practice.
I get it out of the way in the morning since I found that a sleepy brain is best for meditation before it fills up with the “To Do’s” for the day.
Over the next week, try to incorporate each of these 7 ideas at least once. Then share your experiences with me by posting a comment
To your success,