Our minds are like our other muscles and need to be stretched regularly to maintain their fitness and to help keep us sharp. We now know that our brains continue to grow new cells throughout our lifetimes, even in our older years. Alternate routine exercises such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles so your brain doesn’t get lazy!
Incorporate a word of the day into your life, use it in a sentence and share it with others. Just as it is important to exercise our bodies and feed it well with nutritious foods, it is important to exercise and keep our brains fit.
Editor’s Note:  In this article, I want to provide you with a few links to resources to help you deal with the stress in your life.
I was inspired to write this when I was speaking at the University of Texas – Austin at the Governor’s Center for Management Development. Well, on Valentine’s Day a couple years ago, I was at the University of Texas – Austin for a conference. The setup to the afternoon was a big reason that the audience was so “in the moment” with me. One of the scenes I call up in my mind when I’m stressed or can’t sleep is the breathtaking South Falls at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon where I’ve been many times for accordion camp! As I’ve continued with my routine of exercising five to six days a week, I’ve noticed huge difference in my ability to process stressful moments at work as well as I now have a sharper memory, and overall feeling of well being. I’d be delighted for you to pin an image from this page to one of your Pinterest boards! Targeting the brain’s sensory-motor cortex can help relieve stiffness, stress, ease pain, and improve the body and mind. This feedback loop of information can help you in effect, move well and be freer to move around. This represents how our body parts are reflected in the brain in terms of how we use them and sense them. In order to help both the brain and body as you age, you can zero in on your sensory-motor cortex so both a movement in and of itself and the quality of how you move your body is addressed by paying attention to the information you can perceive or feel. You see, the brain functions better with a variety of movements which opens up the possibilities of new neural connections since the brain itself can be changed, formed, and reformed. Normally, we think of brain exercises like doing a crossword puzzle or doing some type of cognitive training. The brain thrives on novelty and our 600 muscles and 17 layers of muscles and fascia (which surround the muscles) can be used in a unique un-exercise approach by focusing our awareness on the conscious nature of movement itself. This wakes up the brain and body since we can tap into the flow of information in our nervous system. This non-traditional approach can augment any traditional type of exercise and can actually let us exercise pain free or be able to do the necessary movements you engage in with less tension and a different felt sense of ability.
The brain can be used to lessen tension through a natural process of updating our movement software.
When we have less tension or when we can sustain more neutral levels of tension, then we can move easily and agilely over the long run. So when our brain gets challenged with paying attention, our body can actually feel the difference.
When you shift upstairs to target your motor cortex and do conscious specific types of movements slowly, gently and with as much awareness as possible – the brain can help the body make a number of changes. The conscious application of movement done slowly forms the system of somatics exercises which is essentially brain based. Since the brain thrives on novelty, the brain and body can be used in unique ways to affect the flow of information in the nervous system. This is set up with simple movements that can be done in a lazy, gentle manner where the mind is highly engaged.
One of the brain functions of the motor cortex is that it can reset the resting levels of the muscles. As the muscles become more relaxed, the brain creates more feelings of relaxation and pleasure. The lower part of the brain, the cerebellum remembers much like a programmed computer program which does our quick, fast movements.
Using the brain’s motor cortex allows us to change the program by noticing what is happening in our overall quality of movement as well as the actual movement. So rather then a brawn approach, you can use the brain to lose excessive or amped up tension and stress.
By losing compensations such as a curved spine which has our belly hanging over or the reverse when we’re too slumped. Our new appearance results from letting go of the tension which held us in place by the lower brain and its programmed ways.
When the brain remembers to reset to neutral, the brain functions much better and now we appear more easily upright and relaxed.
You can zone in on the brain in a similar conscious manner to create natural chemicals of relaxation so you’re left feeling content, relaxed and in control. When we let go of the binds of stress, tension and long held-injuries and compensations, the body knows where to reset to neutral so it can in effect move easy and be in comfortable positions. You can move more freely and naturally by reprogramming the brain so a natural flexibility can be easily maintained.
When we’re constantly triggering flight or fight response in our busy lives, we’re not giving our self the chance to calm things down. Resetting our brain and body so we can ramp it up and then back it down, allows us to live more easily with a nervous system which can be reset so our immune system is less burdened as the inflammatory response is cooled down. When you use the brain to reset the entire body system of movement, you can move with greater ease and comfort like any other healthy vertebrate animal. As our earlier sense of freedom returns, movement can nurture us towards more tranquil states.
As you use the brain and target certain functions, you can return again and again to levels of comfort where you can fully understand or appreciate the mind and body connection. When we go back to the well of movement itself and harness the power of the brain to tap into our very awareness. The brain’s intelligence is aroused (with a little practice) so you end up with a better brain and body.
When you reset yourself with a certain level of conscious awareness, the brain functions at levels which may continue to delightfully surprise you as you age.
NASA found pilots performed better when they took a short afternoon siesta.  No wonder why my dogs use this same strategy and somehow continue to move well in a moment’s notice. The loss of sleep can harm you.  You can get in a foul mood, your logical reasoning can slow, and your attention can drift. While it may be hard to convince your boss, napping on the job or napping during the day may help.  People like Pablo Picasso and many others knew napping, increased productivity. The evidence is gaining and we can all benefit just like other countries or regions which understand how nature has some of the answers to better health built in.  Or you can watch or ask Fido. Check out John’s book, Brain Rules, and find out more napping benefits and other cool brainiac things which can lead to a healthier and fun productive life. When trauma happens, our brain and nervous system naturally takes our body into a reflexive protective pattern. To let go of our holding, habitual, protective patterns which are being programmed into the brain and nervous system can be accomplished with a little neurological rewiring which somatics exercises provide. Wherever we are compromised, we take alternate routes neurologically which may be less than optimal yet serve to move us around as well as we can. If the pathways of the brain and nervous system are clear, the lines of communication facilitate better overall movement and comfort.

If we end up dragging ourself around or into ourself or stumble and have lost our youthful coordinated ways. Through the conscious use of our sensory motor system, we can undo that which has been our undoing for some time. Whereas other approaches focus on the body, we can use what the brain and body are exhibiting to use that information towards self-mastery and understanding our inherent nature to move well using the brain and nervous system. Our very own keen senses can lead us towards the comfort we seek and the very one we can maintain as we age. Please check out these somatics exercises classes for future enjoyment of your brain and nervous system as well both the mind and body to recapture those childlike feelings of moving well for life. Listen to how our pain and discomforts can be our greatest teacher and what to do to overcome what gets in our way.
Here are some everyday useful tips when you engage in easy movements such as somatics exercises. This often goes against many people’s idea of how to exercise, yet when we live in discomfort this naturally makes more sense.
Often times we’ll hold our breath unaware of how this is impacting our sense of effort or the actual effort taking place. The big muscle, the brain… sends messages to the muscles and receives back information in our sensory-motor feeback loop.
Any small adjustment such as using a pad or pillow can alleviate any struggle we might find ourself when it comes to positioning ourself for a movement done on the ground. If we do get in a pickle and we try to force our body, it will naturally react and pull itself back – and that might hurt. In the practice of somatics exercises, we learn how to wield pain and discomfort to our advantage.
Would you like to feel how you can release the upper body and play with some lower body balancing? You can join me online as we get ready for the Olympics in our Upper Body and Balance online class. You can do this as all you have to do is listen, follow along and feel how your body and balance will return comfortably with easy somatics exercises. We can restore our body and balance when we use the brain’s motor cortex and sensory-motor feedback loop in delightful, novel ways so please join us live or sign up to get the replay now. Somatics exercises is one avenue we can all use to keep our living movement system free from a lot of the aches and pains that many people endure. If you’re into keeping your brain healthy, your mind sharp, and moving well, then a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids will also calm your mood too.
When we eat certain nuts, seeds and wild fish like salmon, tuna & sardines our body tends to build up resiliency instead of breaking down when we eat processed foods.
Since our bodies can’t produce it, we’ve got to include a rich source of it through what we eat. Increasing the amount of omega 3 fatty acids can help with lowering the risk of heart disease, reducing the risk of cancer and increasing our low levels of energy.
Our heart, eyes and even the immune system can be optimized by a proper intake of omega 3 fatty acids. Now there’s a mouthful but I hear the health problems we encounter are sometime easier to fix and reverse than we think. But what if you could help prevent asthma, improve blood sugar levels to protect you from diabetes and slow down the decline associated with Alzheimer’s just by changing your diet a little. You can take the test and find out for yourself if Doctor’s Harris, Hyman and Oz are onto something beneficial for you.
Somatics which is defined as the body experienced from within not only relates to how well or not well we feel when we move or not move, it also has to do with paying attention to the signals our bodies generate from what we put into it too. A few short months ago, a very nice fellow by the name of Alex Doman introduced himself to me.
Alex was kind enough to offer me a copy, and when it arrived at my doorstep I could not have been happier.
Since first opening the box quite some time ago, I have used the Sound Health CDs regularly. Peak Performance gives me less noticeable results, but tends to improve my mood on days when I need to get a good deal of work done but don’t seem to have the motivation to keep going. BrainBuilder installs right to your computer, so you don’t need to be connected to the internet to do your training.
The program starts out with an introduction and gives you the option of reading it yourself or having an audio play along with the text. Then, the BrainBuilder coach will adjust your training program according to your performance on the test.
You also get a choice as to how long your training session will last: 15 minutes for those of you short on time or 30 minutes for you endurance athletes. Each session starts out with an introductory meditation where you are shown relaxing scenery accompanied by soothing background music. You’ll then move on to your brain training sessions which progress as you move through the program. Auditory Base Letters Session: Just like the previous session, but switch out the numbers and replace them with letters. If you need a break from training, you can access your own set of brain games right from your member dashboard. You can try BrainBuilder free for 30 days by paying the $14.95 charge to have it shipped out to you. You can get to know the awesome people at Advanced Brain Technologies by interacting with them online.
Erin Matlock is and advocate, speaker and advisor working in the brain health and mental health markets. I think one of the things that actually helps people remember is if the information they’re supposed to remember is relevant. Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 72% OFF what others pay on the newsstand — that's like getting 19 FREE issues!
Activities that increase blood flow to the brain, such as physical activity, mental stimulation and good nutrition will help exercise our brains which in turn enhances our brains. These cells can further enhance overall function by migrating to areas where new cells are necessary and learning from the surrounding cells what skills are required.
Helping your senior loved ones add some of these activities to their day can be great gift ideas too. Exercise is not only good for the body but for the brain as well Mental exercises delay the onset of many memory related diseases!
I also hope to help you make the important connection between exercise and reducing stress. I was delivering my presentation, Lessons Learned from Livestock, as a keynote for the afternoon. We had all had the honor and privilege of hearing Daniel Friedland, MD, speak as the keynote for the morning session. Don’t you love it when God aligns everything like that to meet the exact need you’re experiencing in a particular moment! I used a short video clip of the South Falls and a few photos of my dear friends from camp to make my first Timeless Reminder with the app.
The sensory part lets you perceive or feel a variety of sensations or feelings about the quality of movement itself. Any number of ways can sharpen us mentally such as learning to play an instrument, trying new recipes and good old fashioned doing math in your head. We remain strong like animals in the wild who reset their muscles naturally since the slow movements are done along certain chains of connections which help us move more effectively.

Mark Hyman may tell you that your fork can be your friend or enemy and one of the important tools when it comes to your health and well-being.
He is the CEO of Advanced Brain Technolgies – a neurotechnology company that develops some very interesting brain training products. They are high definition recordings of musical pieces created to motivate your mind, increase endurance and intensify awareness. I pop in Maximum Focus whenever I’m doing long stretches of writing or coding, and I can feel my thinking sharpen and my concentration strengthen within the first ten minutes.
Alex and the team at Advanced Brain Technologies are experts at understanding and addressing learning styles, and this is another example of their attention to detail.
You’ll start out with a Brain Speed test which is designed to assess your current level of cognitive fitness. This is a great feature as it tailors your training to your individual level and gives the program a more personal feel.
This was a favorite of Tori Deaux who mentioned how much she liked it to me in conversation as well as in her MindTweaks review.
One image is your target image and you’ll need to press the space bar each time you see it.
They are are extremely active and accessible – which is a smart move on their part and cool for us. If any of you currently use Brain Builder or are purchasing it, please leave a comment below and let me know how your training is going.
Our comment policy is simple: be kind to others and please don't post links in the comments. The articles, products and information here are in no way a substitution for licensed medical or legal advice. This is especially true when there has been an injury such as stroke or other brain injury for renewal of lost skills. It’s one of the topics I often address in my podcast, Heartsong Fit With Vickie Maris, which is available for free at iTunes or Stitcher Radio. It’s a fun workshop in which I include photographs and videos of life on our farm as I tie in the lessons that animals can teach us about working in teams, selecting the right people for the various team roles, the values of a healthy team environment, and the importance of knowing team members, and recognizing and rewarding them for their efforts. He was so on fire about his topic and research, and had such an entertaining way of explaining functions of our brains, and how we can retrain our thinking to better deal with the stresses in our lives, and to improve our relationships. He has several free videos that you can watch and an online course available for enrollment.
This is a nice touch so you don’t have to worry about problems with your activation code. One last thing - if you'd like a picture to show with your comment, go get a free gravatar! The real culprit, however, may be a kind of neurological laziness: We have cell phones to save numbers, GPS to guide us down the road, and the Internet for everything else, making memorization much less necessary than it once was.
The Watch OWN app is free and available to you as part of your OWN subscription through a participating TV provider.
I have been blogging to share my knowledge and feel cherished that I’m educating you with a bunch of beneficial stuffs at my every blog post that would help you in any way. We can also improve our overall cognition and brain fitness by helping our brain cells that are now inactive become active.
One example of these reading topics is from many years ago when I was having some back troubles.
As a result, the memory centers of our brain aren't being exercised the way they used to be. I’ve already discussed some apps to behave well and now my focus is to boost your brain power.
But with more than 80 billion neurons and trillions of connections between them, your brain is capable of storing far more than you may realize.
You may get the details of some best brain training apps in this post.Regular mental exercise will greatly improve the memory & creativity – This is scientifically proven!
His study of the brain and his way of presenting technical facts in a funny, down-to-earth way, made his talk very well timed for me as I deal with a variety of work-related stresses.
In recent days, people are getting interact with gadgets at most of the time and consequently fail to remember to do the brain exercises.
Friedland has also started a podcast on retraining the brain to better deal with stress – Mindset Matters.
This app was specially designed by neuroscientists to train memory & attention and it got featured in many tech blogs like PC Mag, The Guardian etc.
You may download this awesome app at free of cost.This brain training app is available for both IOS and Android users!2. Fit Brains TrainerIt is a scientifically designed brain fitness program by a top clinical neuropsychologist from U.S. This remarkable app has more than 360 games and unique training sessions to enhance the memory, concentration and problem solving skills.
The app users have reported some benefits such as deep concentration, clear thinking, positive mood changes etc. This top education app has been downloaded by more than 4 million people till now and you may track your brain performance with this app.Both IOS and Android users may get this app for free!3. Mind Games ProTo help you in practicing different mental skills, this fabulous app includes a dozen of brain exercising games. These games would shape your mental flexibility, arithmetic, visual memory and learning skills.
Also, your vocabulary, speeding skills and knowledge would get improved with this education app.
If you really need a personal coach for your attention, memory, multitasking, problem solving skills etc, you may download this app.
There would not be any annoying reminders & alerts and not much effort are needed to develop and maintain your mind.
Thus, you could use this unique brain training application in a playful way and share achievements with your friends.
Innovative puzzles and mini-games of this app test your various cognitive abilities and thus you’ll see quick improvements in your memory and visual skills. Brain School TrainingThis is really a splendid app for IOS users to advance the brainpower.
Twenty different brain games are available here and your verbal, spatial, numerical skills will be improved with them.
It is one of the best memory trainer games that contain different game modes with largest collection of brain games.Final WordsYou might have tried many books and programs to improve your memory power and cognitive performance. But results say that the brain-training games would help to advance your memory, reasoning and speeding skills.
So, you may download any of the discussed brain training app to enrich your brain’s aptitude.I would recommend you to follow a regular physical, meditation and breathing exercise together with the usage of a brain enhancing app.
I hope that you’ve well engaged with this post and now it’s time to get your opinion through comment. I used to solve riddles in Magazines and Newspapers to enhance the performance of brain.Thanks for sharing these nice resources to train the brain, will check them out and ask my hubby to install an brain boosting app for my daughter. Hope that will work great for me also ??Reply Swetta Sharma says July 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm Hello Atish,Wow, i always play Sudoku to train my brain but you added some more things. Great to know about all these app and every one should give a try to it.Reply Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.

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