Search for ways to maintain brain health and you’ll find plenty of muscle analogies—countless tips to increase your mental strength and thinking power. Yet surprisingly, your brain is an organ, with only a bit of muscle to help pump blood. And unlike a bicep curl, you can’t exactly go to the gym to engage in thought exercises.
Although it may not happen on a treadmill, does “brain training” actually work? Read on to learn more about the mind and ways you can engage in productive, healthy habits for your brain.
An Amazing Thinking Machine
At around three pounds, the human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons and 100,000 miles of blood vessels. That’s not an information highway—it’s an information universe! This incredible organ subconsciously controls many of your body’s functions. And you use it constantly. You’re always thinking and processing. Even in sleep, your brain actively sorts through the day’s events. So, it’s no surprise this relatively small organ accounts for 20 percent of your body’s total energy output.
Your brain is divided into regions which, together, control your body and how you experience and interact with the world. It’s remarkable. And these 41 facts about your brain are a great way to start learning more.
Achieving Brain Gains
You may have noticed online cognitive training ads blowing up your social feed lately. Many claim brain health benefits like faster reading speed and comprehension, better hand-eye coordination, emotional control, and “reversing” age-related conditions such as dementia. Lumosity, one such company, was fined $2 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for making such claims that they couldn’t back with verified studies.
Benefits of brain training games may be murky, but there is solid science to show it’s worth flexing those thinking skills. The mind is adaptable. It uses neural plasticity to pick up on new information quickly. Your nervous system reacts to new experiences by literally rewiring circuits and strengthening synaptic connections between neurons to adapt to change.
So, yes, focusing on brain health—like bicep curls—is worth pursuing.
7 Healthy Habits for Your Brain
Eating wholesome meals, managing stress, and taking care of your overall well-being all lend to better overall health. From action-driven activities to lifelong holistic choices, here’s a list of seven ways to maintain a healthy mind.
An extended version of these tips can be found on What’s Up, USANA? 60 Days To a Smarter You: 10 Tips to Optimize Mental Health