We’re still in the month of love, celebrating, learning more about and loving the most magnificent organ in the Universe. All the power generated by the human brain resides within you. Processes going on inside it every nanosecond are there to fuel and power you up in the most magical ways. You are a specimen of perfection and the beautiful, redeeming thing is that the brain is forgiving.
Your brain is quite capable of transformation in a physiological sense. This is known as plasticity, the ability of the brain to create new habits and new ways of being, or to put it “neuroscientifically”, it can create new pathways. It is just waiting for you to realize the power residing within you, unearth it and live an optimal life. This is your birthright.
To complement your brain healthy nutritional regime, physical and intellectual exercise is key.
In an article in Psychology Today, Dr Kimerer LaMothe outlines some of the benefits of physical exercise for the health of your brain: exercise primes brain cells with work-enabling oxygen, it is also evident that exercise actually catalyzes the growth of new brain cells (called neurogenesis) as well as the production of factors that aid in the creation of new synapses (called synaptic plasticity).
We talked about neurons and neurotransmitters last week, the nerve cells and substances in your brain responsible for all those billions of messages being transmitted in your brain to ensure that all bodily functions take place without a glitch. Synapses basically connect your neurons. So, the quality of your “brain transmission network” is dependent on the quality of your movement: you can dance like no one’s watching, skip along on the street, tumble on the grass, ride a bicycle, it really doesn’t matter. Just move and move regularly. You’ll learn more effectively, retain information, sleep better at night and your mood will be balanced.
Dr LaMotte summarizes the importance of exercise beautifully by stating, “Bodily movement signals to the brain that there are decisions to make; opportunities to take; dangers to avoid, and pleasures to pursue. Bodily movement signals to the brain that it is time to come fully on line and do the job it exists to do: guiding conscious participation in the rhythms of bodily becoming.”