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Fitness For Gyrus - The Quality Of Life
Fitness For Gyrus - The Quality Of Life

Video: Fitness For Gyrus - The Quality Of Life

Video: Fitness For Gyrus - The Quality Of Life
Video: The brain-changing benefits of exercise | Wendy Suzuki 2023, March

Gone are the days when it was believed that nerve cells do not recover, at the age of 25 a person rises to the peak of his abilities, and after that he will face a slow but inevitable decline. Now we know that the brain is plastic, it changes throughout life. And how exactly it will change - for better or for worse - depends on us. The mind can and should be "pumped up" just like muscles, and it also has its own fitness.


Almost everything that is good for health in general is good for the brain in particular, but there are three things that our gyrus needs the most.


The brain, like other organs of the body, must receive enough nutrients, especially glucose. Most of the sugar is consumed by the front lobes of the brain, which are responsible for motivation, long-term planning, critical thinking, and control of behavior (willpower). Therefore, if you cannot force yourself to start some unpleasant task, eat something sweet. The rise in blood glucose will trigger a short-term increase in willpower that you can use to get started. Then, however, the same sharp decline will follow, you may feel slight drowsiness or an attack of hunger. So don't overuse this recipe.


Even a small reduction in the duration of sleep leads to disruption of the brain (reduced ability to concentrate, reaction speed, memory). In addition, lack of sleep affects the ability of the brain to absorb glucose from the blood, and therefore all the problems described in the last paragraph automatically migrate into this one. This is especially true of willpower. For example, many researchers have linked the American obesity epidemic to chronic sleep deprivation (US residents sleep an average of six hours a day). Lack of sleep will also make it difficult for you to refrain from unnecessary purchases - not only due to lack of willpower (impossible not to indulge yourself), but also due to problems with critical thinking (a superknife with twelve blades can really seem like a valuable asset).


The brain makes up only 2-3% of body weight, but at the same time consumes about 20% of oxygen. Any exercise improves blood circulation, which means more oxygen begins to flow to the brain. Therefore, if you feel that "the pot does not cook", do a couple of push-ups or jump rope - you will immediately feel a surge of mental energy. In addition, constant physical exercise (especially aerobic exercise) leads to an increase in the number of capillaries in the brain, improves oxygen supply. For the same reasons, aging affects the intellectual abilities of people who are constantly involved in sports much less. In addition, regular exercise reduces the likelihood of depression and insomnia.


Why, during international negotiations, one of the parties willingly assumes the costs associated with accepting the other party? And all because the guests who arrived yesterday in a non-native time zone, and then walked until the night on the money of the receiving party, in the morning turn out to be unusually agreeable. They are easily convinced that a mutually beneficial agreement is being concluded. Then the negotiators return home, sleep off, re-read the contract and begin to tear their hair out and wonder how they managed to sign it. And the reason is one - lack of sleep.


This principle applies equally to the brain and body. For example, walking uses only part of the joint surface. The other part, which is responsible for the rotational movement, turns out to be unused and gradually overgrows with connective tissue, if you do not specifically rotate the joints, say, during charging. There is nothing wrong with habits - they save a lot of time and effort. But by relying solely on a formulaic way of thinking, we deprive our minds of flexibility. Neurobics, developed by the American neuroscientist Lawrence Katz, is designed to counteract this loss.

If you can express the meaning of neurosics in one sentence, then the line from the song by Sherrill Crow - "change will do you good" is best suited. But not all changes are effective. “If you usually write with a pen,” says Katz, “but today you take a pencil, then you are breaking the stable order and doing something new. Indeed, the pattern of activity in the zones responsible for touch changes slightly. But such a small change isn't enough to seriously train your brain. It's different if you decide to start writing with your other hand. If you are right-handed and shift the pen to your left hand, then huge networks of neurons in different zones of the right hemisphere suddenly become involved."

Here are three basic principles that must be followed in neuroscience exercises. Use one or more senses in a new context This can easily be done by artificially limiting the feeling that you usually rely on in a particular situation.

For example:

  • Sit on a park bench, close your eyes, and hear the sound of what is happening. When you have dealt with familiar sounds, go to field records (music created with minimal processing of recordings of environmental sounds - the murmur of water, the rumble of high-voltage wires, thunder, sounds of busy streets, etc.).
  • Many housewives have a box with dozens of bags of different spices. If you have one, then close your eyes, take out one packet at a time and try to determine what it is by smell.
  • Take a shower and dress with your eyes closed.
Include active attention

Do something unusual, fun, and emotional.

  • Go to an amusement park, 4D movie, or a concert.
  • Take your child to work with you.
  • Take a weekend trip to the forest with a tent.
  • Go to a dark restaurant. Almost every major city now has a restaurant that serves food in absolute darkness. This is not only a great place for a romantic date, but also a chance to discover completely new facets of taste sensations.
Find an original and unexpected way for routine actions
  • Try brushing your teeth or eating with your other hand.
  • Return home in an unusual way.
  • Button up your clothes and tie your laces with one hand.
  • Rearrange furniture.
  • Change jobs (although you don't have to go that far).


In addition to the general "flexibility" and "mobility" of the brain, which neurobics develops, it is possible to train certain abilities - from expanding vocabulary to developing a musical ear. There are many such opportunities - but here are three things that will always come in handy, no matter what you do.



The incredible plasticity of the brain, which is discussed in the article, its ability to compensate for individual mental functions, allows neuropsychologists to help children with a variety of problems. Among them are the child's school failure (inattention, restlessness, increased fatigue), and solutions to various speech problems (lack of speech up to five years of age, dyslexia, dyslalia), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and cerebral palsy. Neuropsychologists study disorders of mental processes and conditions of the elderly, for example, in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Special techniques and exercises allow specialists to determine the direction of development of a particular dementia process and make predictions about the prevention of the disease. And the recently developing direction - the neuropsychology of individual differences - will soon allow you to choose exactly the profession where you can realize yourself 100%.

Olga Mitina,

candidate of psychological sciences


It is the ability to keep attention on an object for a long time. Everything you do with focus benefits your ability to concentrate. Meditation is very useful in this regard, and the type in which you focus your attention on something (breathing, a point in space or an image in front of your inner gaze).

Here are some concentration exercises:

  • Take a newspaper, choose two letters of the alphabet (say, C and H) and cross out those letters in the next three paragraphs as quickly as possible, then choose other letters. Increase the number of letters with practice.
  • Look at any painting or photograph, then close your eyes and try to imagine it as accurately as possible.
  • When listening to music, highlight the individual instrument parts (brass, drums, etc.).

For the development of concentration, forgotten children's activities such as drawing pictures and building houses of cards, as well as playing jenga (a tower of wooden blocks) are also well suited.

Working memory

It stores information that we are currently processing. It includes many subsystems such as short-term memory, a phonological loop (allowing us to remember the last few words spoken, even if we did not listen to the interlocutor at all), a visual-spatial matrix (representing images in the mind), etc.

Here are some exercises to develop it:

  • Take a deck of cards and choose the value of the card (jack). Start looking through the cards one at a time and lay them face down. Every time you come across a jack, try to remember which card was two cards before it.
  • Take any word and spell it backwards.
  • Sort your colleagues' names alphabetically.

Any game in which you need to memorize cards (for example, preference), or a game in which you have to think through options a few moves ahead (such as chess) is good for working memory. Just like regular mental arithmetic and many computer games (such as 3D Tetris). Moreover, services that offer games specifically designed to develop specific aspects of working memory (eg Lumocity, BrainHQ) have been gaining popularity lately.

Long-term memory is anything we remember for more than a few minutes. There are no special exercises for developing long-term memory, because memorization is the art of thinking. We keep in our memory what we give ourselves the trouble to think over, sort it out on the shelves, connect with what we already know.

Therefore, if you want to remember something, then discuss it with someone or teach someone about it; return your thoughts to what you read the day before - when you are traveling in transport or at any other time when your head is free. We also remember what we do well - try to apply the knowledge gained in your life.

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