When you go to the gym, you are surrounded by fitness enthusiasts working on their muscles and the constant sound of falling weights. About 55 percent of the Dutch train three or more days a week and this number is growing every year. This reflects the country’s current drive for fitness. As men, we’re obsessed with counting calories, lifting weights, and setting personal records so we can get bigger, better, stronger, and ultimately fitter. However, there is more to it than that. Men should exercise their brains the same way they train their muscles. This leads to a stronger mental acuity, a reduced risk of dementia and a sharper memory.
Nourish your brain, just like your muscles
Most men know that when you start exercising, you also have to change your diet. You don’t achieve anything in the gym if you don’t change your eating style. Well, your brain works exactly the same way. What you put into your body not only determines how well you do at the gym, but it also regulates the chemicals in your brain. Adding antioxidants to your diet, such as blueberries and artichokes, can help your muscles recover faster and eventually build your new body. However, they can also prevent oxidation and improve brain cells. This reduces the risk of developing dementia and other cognitive disorders. Other fitness-friendly foods like omega-3s and B-12 vitamins can also improve your mental sharpness and help your brain stay strong for longer.
You can’t just go to the gym just once and expect to get fit. It is a constant routine of stretching, training and pushing boundaries. Your brain works in exactly the same way. To stay healthy and strong in the mind, men need to challenge and stretch their brains. Therefore, you should participate in activities that stimulate your mind so that you maintain your brain cells and sharpen your memory. Some interesting and fun brain games are crossword puzzles, sudoku, writing, reading challenging books and articles, picking up a new hobby or adjusting your work schedule. Just as your muscles cannot grow if you do the same exercise every day, your brain cannot grow if it receives the same stimuli every day. Switch it up! This so that you can stay mentally sharper throughout your life.
Your brain needs to recover
After a long day at the gym, it’s important to rest and recover your muscles. It is recommended that you rest your body and get a good night’s sleep. Your brain also needs rest and sleep so that it can recover and restart for the next day. According to a study conducted at Brigham Women’s Hospital, participants who slept for at least eight hours a day were 12 percent more likely to remember information presented to them the night before. Sleep is important for storing new information and improving your ability to process the world around you. Therefore, you should always remember to rest and recover if you want to improve your memory or learn a new valuable skill.
Your brain is the most important muscle of your body. That’s why you have to practice it as much as you train in the gym. A healthy mind can improve your life and help you live longer and healthier.