Table of contents:

John Medina. Brain Rules. Part 2 - Reviews, Self-development
John Medina. Brain Rules. Part 2 - Reviews, Self-development

We publish excerpts from the book of John Medina

  • John Medina
  • Brain rules. What you and your kids should know about the brain
  • Moscow. "Mann, Ivanov and Ferber". 2018

This book contains the most complete information about the features of the functioning of the brain and provides practical recommendations for optimizing its work. Implementation of the rules described by the author will help to increase work efficiency, improve memory, improve the learning process and allow successful negotiations and presentations

See also: John Medina. Brain rules. Part 1

Rule #? 1. Exercise stimulates the brain

Lifelong physical activity contributes to dramatic improvement in cognitive processes, in contrast to a sedentary lifestyle. Adherents of physical education bypassed lazy people and lazy people in terms of long-term memory, logic, attention, ability to solve problems, and even the so-called agile intelligence.

Such tests determine the speed of thinking, the ability to think abstractly, to reproduce previously acquired knowledge to solve a new problem. Thus, exercise improves a range of abilities that are highly valued both in school and at work.

But not every weapon in the cognitive arsenal can be improved through physical activity. For example, short-term memory and certain reactions are not associated with this. And although they also improve in most cases, the effect will differ significantly from person to person. Good performance is preserved only in the complex, but not associated with the cause. In order to establish a direct connection, it is necessary to carry out a number of other experiments.

The researchers invited a group of people with a sedentary lifestyle, tested their intellectual abilities, then subjected them to physical activity for a certain period of time, and then repeated the tests. As a result, it was found that aerobics classes contributed to the restoration of all mental abilities.

Progress was seen after just four months of constant physical activity. A similar situation was observed in the group of schoolchildren. In one study, children jogged for half an hour two to three times a week. After 12 weeks, their cognitive performance improved significantly compared to pre-jogging. At the end of the program, the indicators returned to their previous level. After the influence of physical activity on cognitive activity was established, the scientists began to clarify the questions posed.

One of the most important and, of course, worrisome questions for a sedentary contingent of people: what physical activity (and how much) is necessary for positive results?

Surprisingly, based on years of research on an aging population, the answer to the question "how much?" -? Little. Even if you just walk a few times a week, your brain will already benefit from it. Even fussy, sedentary people have an advantage over level-headed slothful people. Does our body scream that it wants to return to a hyperactive lifestyle in the Serengeti? (Ecosystem in East Africa). Any step towards the past of mankind, even the smallest, meets the body with a battle cry.

Empirically, it was determined that the golden mean - 30? -Minute aerobics classes three times a week. If you add muscle-strengthening exercises to these, your cognitive system will benefit even more

Of course, the results will differ from person to person; you should not start with a radical program without consulting your doctor. Excessive exercise and overwork can harm cognitive ability. But it's still worth starting. As villagers have shown us for centuries, exercise has a beneficial effect on the brain. But the extent to which this influence was beneficial surprised everyone.

Can physical activity relieve a person of brain dysfunctions?

Convinced of the lasting effect of physical activity on normal cognitive activity, the researchers thought about the possibility of treating atypical cognitive processes. How will this affect, for example, age-related dementia or its closest relative, Alzheimer's disease? What about disorders such as depression in this regard?

The researchers were interested in how to prevent and treat these disorders. After decades of worldwide research, involving thousands of people, accurate results have been obtained. The risk of dementia is cut in half by spending free time on physical activity.

Aerobic exercise, for example, solves this problem. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, there is even greater progress: the risk of developing such a disease is reduced by 60 percent

How much workload is needed? Scientists have found that it is enough to exercise twice a week. And taking a 20-minute walk every day will reduce the risk of an angina attack - one of the leading causes of age-related mental impairment - by 57 percent.

Physical activity does not contribute to the supply of oxygen or nutrition, but provides better oxygen supply to nourish the brain. It happens quite simply. Due to physical activity, blood circulates better in the tissues of the body. This is due to the fact that the production of strong, blood-regulating molecules of nitric oxide is stimulated by the blood vessels.

As blood circulation improves, new blood vessels are created in the body and penetrate deeper into all tissues, thus providing access to the “goods and services” of the circulatory system, including nutrition and waste disposal. The higher the physical activity, the more tissues fed by the waste are excreted. The whole body is involved in this process. Therefore, physical education improves many functions of the human body: existing transport systems are strengthened and new transport systems are created, and the state of health becomes better.

The same thing happens in the human brain. Imaging studies have shown that exercise increases blood volume in the dentate gyrus, an important part of the hippocampus involved in memory consolidation. The improved blood supply resulting from the creation of new capillaries makes available to more brain cells the services of "brigades" that provide blood supply and eliminate toxic waste.

Another effect of exercise has become clearer: it looks more like soil fertilizer than roads. When tested at the molecular level, early studies have shown that exercise also stimulates the most powerful factor affecting brain function, β-β BDNF, or the neurotrophic factor in the brain involved in healthy tissue development.

BDNF has a beneficial effect on the growth of certain neurons in the brain. Protein allows these cells to stay young and healthy by stimulating their desire to bond with each other. It also promotes neurogenesis - the process of forming new brain cells. The cells of the hippocampus, which is closely related to human cognitive abilities, are most susceptible to this effect. Exercise includes BDNF.

Thus, the higher the physical activity, the more "fertilizer" the body receives - by? at least when it comes to laboratory animals. According to some opinions, the human body works on the same principle

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