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8 Ways to Increase Your Brain Power

The human brain is the most intricate and amazing contraption that can we can acknowledge.

This article gives you advice on how to boost your brain power and keep your brain in the best shape possible.

1. Exercise

Getting cardiovascular exercise is one of the most important aspects to having a healthy brain. The main reason is that cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain. There are other benefits to exercise, but it's of great benefit to the brain in particular.

2. Brain Activities

We all fall into routines in which we aren't using our brains to learn anything new. This becomes more common as we get older and lose interest in new things. Unfortunately for some, their minds fall into such a rut that they develop attention deficit disorder or even worse - dementia.

There are many ways to keep the brain active. Here are just a few of many: Reading, doing arithmetic in your head, memory exercises, learning a musical instrument, learning a foreign language, crossword puzzles, chess, games that require concentration, or any kinds of puzzle games in general. Creative exercises such as painting, poetry, music, improv, or writing are also great ways to use the brain.

Here is a recommendation, for example: If you take the same path to work each day, challenge yourself by taking a different path and figure out how to get there just by using your mind. Try memorize the street names and just exercise your brain as much as possible. Another similar example would be for a guitar player to try and play his guitar left-handed, simply for the sake of mental exercise. Get the idea?

The purpose of these kinds of exercises is not only to build concentration ability, but to keep challenging your brain to learn new things. When the brain learns something new, it develops new neural pathways. So in a sense, every time you learn something new your brain "blazes a new trail" so that it gets easier the next time you do it. If you remember when you first learned to type on the keyboard, it was difficult remembering where all the letters were. At this point in time, I'm sure that you have so many neural pathways that your mind effortlessly types away on autopilot.

Increase your brain power by learning to do something new, and use your brain in ways that you are not typically familiar with. It takes some effort, but it's well worth it.

3. Get Outdoors

Many people suffer from poorly ventilated areas such as offices or rooms that lack oxygen. Well, big surprise: The brain needs oxygen to perform at its best. Make sure to get outdoors, get a little sunlight, and keep your homes and offices well ventilated.

4. Brain Foods

If you haven't already read my article about Healthy Brain Foods, be sure to check it out. In summary, I'll say that the our brains benefit the most from fish, blueberries, natural coffee and dark chocolate (in moderation), walnuts, blueberries, eggs, cheese and milk (in moderation), whole grains, avocados, bananas, and many other great foods such as acai berries, almonds, and cashews.

The brain is very greedy and taxes the body heavily in terms of blood sugar. The brain feeds directly on glucose, so if you aren't nourished, you will lack focus and concentration. For this reason, it's important to Eat a Big Breakfast before you start the day.

Eating a diet full of protein, whole grain carbs, and healthy, unsaturated fat is the key to a healthy brain.

5. Relaxation, Peace of Mind

If something's bothering you, it's very difficult to concentrate since your mind is constantly somewhere else. The same thing occurs when you're in a situation in which you are distracted, such as email notifications or a nagging relative. When you have peace of mind, you have clarity and focus. Try some relaxation techniques like a hot shower, bath, meditation, or deep-breathing. It's also good to take a break: Go for a walk or watch a movie to get your mind away from the stress, so you can come back refreshed.

6. Brain Supplements

I'm not going to get too much into herbs and vitamins that boost brain power, because much of it is due to speculation and conflicting data. I will emphasize that Omega-3 Fish Oil has been proven to help increase cognitive ability. Aside from the regular vitamins A through E that we normally ingest with food or over-the-counter vitamins, I don't see much of a need to rely on other supplements. It's rumored that Gingko Biloba helps enhance brain concentration and reduces memory loss over time, but there are conflicting studies.

Just be sure you're following the Mr Healthy Diet and taking your multivitamin each day. That should be just fine.

7. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

While there are some benefits for middle aged or older people to have 1-2 drinks per day, keep in mind that alcohol directly kills brain cells. So the health benefits of alcohol do come at a price. It does matter how much you are drinking though. If you do drink occasionally, keep it under control and follow the advice in the rest of this article so that your brain does not suffer.

While we're on the topic of alcohol, I'll also mention smoking. It's not only bad for your skin but it's also bad for your brain. The primary reason is that it restricts blood flow to your organs, which obviously include your brain. The same goes for drugs, which can cause mild to severe damage.

8. Sleep

Without a good night's rest, it's very difficult for the brain to concentrate. You can read more about the benefits of a good night's rest here.

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