5 exercises to protect the brain

The brain is the organ that consumes the most oxygen. To function properly, it needs carbohydrates and fatty acids. But that's not all! To keep your cognitive function at its best, here are 5 exercises to protect your brain.

1. La pratique d'une activité physique régulière et non intensive

The benefits of physical activity have been proven time and time again in relation to Alzheimer's diseaser. Indeed, a hormone secreted when the body is in action would limit cognitive degeneration. In addition to the production of endorphin, otherwise known as the "feel-good hormone" because it acts on mood regulation, researchers have uncovered a new molecule that would improve memory: irisin.

This hormone promotes neuronal growth in the hippocampus, the area of learning and memory. It also protects synapses, which are the areas between two neurons that provide electrical transmission of information.

Depending on your starting physical condition, you can start with walking and progress to Nordic walking or increase the time, speed and distance. Cycling and swimming are also a great way to get some gentle physical activity while engaging all of your body systems.

To this, we can add: the maintenance of the garden and the house, limit car travel, do your small errands on foot ...

2. Des exercices cognitifs quotidiens 

Reading the press or a novel, playing calculation games such as Sudoku or letter games like crossword puzzles, memorizing lines from a play or poem, playing bridge, learning a new technique....

All of these activities help to stimulate cognitive functions such as memorization, thinking, learning, reasoning, concentration, logic, analysis, observation, verbalization...

For older people, there are websites that offer fun exercises designed to work independently or with caregivers. 

3. Le brain gym® ou la gymnastique du cerveau

The brain gym® is a form of kinesthetic education born in the early 80's by Paul Dennison "that primarily uses motor and artistic movements and activities to develop our potential."

It helps recreate the link between the body and the cognitive functions through simple and fun exercises. A set of 26 movements inspired by psychomotricity, yoga and Chinese medicine are listed. 

The Brain Gym invites us to use our energy rightly in order to live in harmony in all our dimensions.

This gymnastics of the neurons makes learning easier, better anchored and increases cognitive performance.

4. la relaxation pour modifier la fréquence du cerveau

All relaxation techniques act on the vibrational frequency of the brain. Schultz autogenic training, sophrology, meditation (mindfulness, guided...), self-hypnosis are all practices that modify the chemistry and electrical activity of the brain. When the brain is in full activity, it is bathed in beta waves. As soon as it calms down, it descends into alpha waves and then during deep relaxation, it enters theta waves and finally, delta waves which correspond to deep sleep without dreams. 

Relaxation therefore acts on the electrical activity of the brain which changes from beta to alpha waves. The latter is the frequency at which learning abilities are optimal as well as creativity and imagination.

5. Eviter la routine pour créer de nouveaux neurones

It has long been believed that neurons do not regenerate and that we are born with a maximum number that only decreases throughout our existence. However, this is not true. It has been shown that we make new neurons every time we create a new habit. 

A habit is a neuronal pathway that is well anchored like the little trails made by wild animals as they pass by the same place. It can be difficult to create a new one but not impossible. 3 watchwords: perseverance, regularity, repetition. 

By breaking the routine, you invite your brain to create new neural pathways. It's uncomfortable at first, but by keeping the 3-word rule in mind, you can work miracles!





Alexia Bernard 12 July, 2021
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