The brain must be taken care of, or it will lose or diminish in some of its abilities. In this article, we will cover some of the necessary steps you need to take in order to improve and maintain your concentration…plus to keep your memory cells firing on all counts.
To stay in shape, we exercise. Yet did you know that this physical exercise is also key to improving your memory and concentration? Great physical activity prompts our nerve cells to release a particular protein called “neurotrophic factors.”
As team players, the neurotrophic factors help activate other chemicals critical to our individual learning ability. Without exercise, we become physically sluggish, and our thinking tends to become foggy, plus it is harder to remember those essential tasks.
Visualizing is key to having success in business and life. In addition, visualizing can be used to improve your memory. An example would be that someone needs to get an excellent mark on a history exam. Although the textbook has been read a number of times, it is not sticking in the memory.
The key is to pick important dates and occurrences that you can quickly visualize in the mind. This has been proven to work as students often remember a horrible incident such as the beheading of a Queen, as they saw a picture of it happening in their mind.
Studies have shown that a person can associate something utterly different than what they need to remember.
When a person shops for clothes and requires a number of items, including socks, they could visualize a bandit with a stocking over their head and eyeholes cut out.
Training the brain for memory and concentration takes practice. Instead of training with weights, a person can train with brain puzzles.
To keep brain cells alive and healthy, investigate different brain games that require memory and concentration. When you have to mentally build an object or connect lines/dots/numbers, it keeps the brain functioning properly.
Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe how the brain works on its connections and maintain the ability to rewire itself. One way to think of it is in terms of self-healing. When someone suffers a brain injury, they can rewire the brain to work around the damage if they can maintain neuroplasticity by practicing various brain exercises.
Sleep is vital for your memory and concentration. It is during sleep that your body repairs its cells. Those who have difficulty getting a solid 7-8 hours sleep a night should investigate why they are not sleeping correctly.
Different strategies can be used to promote sound sleep. Using white noise machines may dull out the other noises that keep you awake like, traffic or barking dogs. Doing meditation or yoga sleep poses prior to going to bed, have been shown to work with great success.
Having a proper sleep works wonders for your memory and concentration. To beef up your focus and concentration during the day, try taking a 20-25 minute power nap. This has been a successful habit in Japan for many years.
Most companies in Japan are onboard with employees taking a power nap at their desk, improving work quality. The Japanese government believes that workers are entitled to 30-minute power naps and the improved efficiency is one of the reasons this has been incorporated into Japanese society.
Regular exercise adds up to significant memory boosts.
Everyone likes fast. Fast cars, fast food, and of course, lightning-fast internet speeds. Would you like a rapid memory boost? Studies have shown that your memory improves after exercise, and it doesn't have to be an hour at the gym.
Research done by Harvard University shows that each short bout of exercise brings a boost to the memory. It can even a short, very brisk walk around the block, to give you that memory boost.
Long term exercise means better-increased brain function, including memory. We see so many of the elderly decline in cognitive function due to a lack of constant activity and proper hydration.
Many studies have been done on people over the age of 65. Those with no exercise show difficulty remembering events from the past, or even faces of people they have known. Groups of elderly who started exercising immediately showed steady improvement in their memory skills.
Those in the group who had used exercise for physical fitness over their lifespan showed significantly better results on tests than all the other participants.
To measure the exercise results in controlled groups, scientists use MRI scans, followed up by memory tests. One portion did low-intensity exercise on a stationary bike while the other part did high intensity. The MRI was used to show changes in the memory section of the brain.
The test was given before the start of an exercise period and then repeated directly after the exercise ended.
The groups were then asked to continue with the stationary bikes for their prescribed time length. At the end of the three months, the MRI and memory tests were repeated. The group that did 50 minutes a day, three times a week of high-intensity biking, showed significant improvement.
When talking about exercise, it is essential to remember that the more you exercise, the higher the intensity….leads to increased blood flow to the brain. The brain needs the oxygen and nutrients carried in the blood, not only to survive but thrive. If you could see your brain during a session on the treadmill, you would see not only extra blood flow but the glucose your body has produced from the food you eat.
Your brain needs the glucose fuel to work, and without it, memory function indeed declines.
Doing a 30-minute high-intensity cardio program will increase the amount of blood that gets sent to the brain. The other added benefit is that cardio you chose as an exercise will help deliver your brain's natural chemicals for proper functioning. It is like going to the doctor and getting a booster shot for your memory, decision making, and of course, problem-solving.
When it comes to cardio, just the treadmill or stationary bike may not be enough. Group cardio using stepping blocks and other items should be considered. When you are involved in this type of exercise program, you need to focus on your movements. As your instructor has you stepping off and on the large foam block, you will need to count along, focus on where your feet are, and how you are breathing.
This extra bit of mental exercise will help in boosting your memory. The other added benefit of a full-body cardio routine is how your muscles will send hormones to your brain. We have many chemicals in our brains, and one of them is called BDNF. This is short for brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
Those extra hormones will mix with the BDNF allowing it to work on brain growth. Also, BDNF helps us to learn and regulate our moods.
There are a large number of chemicals and hormones involved in the brain. Humor is one way to release serotonin and dopamine, while exercise is another. We need these happy chemicals to stay motivated and receptive to learning. Science has proven to us that exercise is essential for boosting our memories.