Bodybuilding is one of the smartest things a person can do. The implementation of a regular exercise regimen and a nutritious diet can make an individual smarter and more attentive, while protecting their brain and reducing their risk of developing brain disorders.
Read on to learn how to optimize brain power with bodybuilding!
The Human Brain
The human brain is the part of the central nervous system located within the skull. It is a highly complex organ that controls nearly every human activity. It commands over 100 billion nerve cells called neurons to process and transmit information throughout the body.
The brain is divided into 3 portions:
The forebrain consists of the cerebrum, thalamus, and hypothalamus. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It is in charge of thought and action, including the action of muscles. It is divided into four lobes: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe.
The frontal lobe controls movement and emotion. The parietal lobe controls sensory activities. The temporal lobe controls hearing and memory. The occipital lobe controls vision.
The thalamus is a two-lobed structure that is made up of grey matter cells. It is responsible for movement and sensory activities. The hypothalamus is a small cone-shaped structure that controls the autonomic nervous system.
The midbrain consists of the tectum and tegmentum. The tectum is located near the upper portion of the midbrain. It controls auditory and visual activities. The tegmentum is located near the lower portion of the midbrain. It controls movement.
The hindbrain consists of the cerebellum, pons, and medulla. The cerebellum is located above the brainstem at the base of the skull. It is responsible for the regulation of movement and balance.
The pons is a structure located on the brain stem. It controls movement and sensory activities. The medulla is the lower part of the brainstem that regulates the autonomic nervous system.
The Benefits Of Bodybuilding For The Brain
Bodybuilding consists of:
All three are beneficial for the brain, especially when trying to boost brain power.
1. Exercise For The Brain:
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Regular exercise is greatly beneficial as it improves blood circulation to the brain, improves the levels of oxygen in the blood, boosts mood, reduces stress, and speeds up the removal of waste products produced by the brain. Exercising 3 to 5 times a week is recommended for optimal results.
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Resistance training should be done at least 3 of those days. You may choose to perform any type of bodybuilding routine and should make sure to train the entire body. Each resistance training workout should range anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes.
Cardiovascular exercise should be done at least 2 of those days. You may choose to perform any type of cardiovascular exercise for 30 to 60 minutes per session.
Stretching should also be performed 3 times a week for 15 to 30 minutes per session. You need to make sure you stretch the entire body.
2. Nutrition For The Brain:
The brain is the greediest organ in the human body and requires plenty of energy to function properly. For it to perform at peak levels, it needs to be provided with all of the essential nutrients and enough of them.
The essential nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are used to make neurotransmitters that allow brain cells to communicate. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which fuels the brain by providing it with energy. Fats contain fatty acids that are used by the brain to make cells that allow for thought.
Best Foods For The Brain:
Below are some of the best foods for the brain that provide the essential nutrients. These foods should be included in a nutrition plan on a weekly basis.
Mauro Di Pasquale
- Oily Fish
- Lean Meats
- Whole Grains
- Dairy Foods
Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, contain proteins and omega-3 oils essential for optimum human health. Omega-3 oils improve communication between neurons, increase learning capacity, and improve heart health.
Beans contain carbohydrates and can stabilize glucose levels, which allows for a steady stream of energy to the brain.
Broccoli contains carbohydrates and antioxidants, which help to protect the brain.
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, which improves blood flow to the organ system, including the brain, and decreases blood pressure.
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Foods To Avoid:
Now that you know which foods to eat, let's take a look at the foods to avoid.
Alcohol has many damaging effects on the brain and should not be included in a regular nutrition plan.
- High Fat Foods
- High Sugar Foods
Foods high in saturated fat should be avoided or at least kept to a minimum, as they damage the brain, cause cognitive decline, and increase the risk of heart disease.
3. Recovery For The Brain:
Allowing for plenty of recovery through rest and sleep is necessary for boosting brain power. Getting anywhere between five to eight hours of sleep each night is recommended for full brain recovery. Also, resting from the gym 2 to 4 days a week should allow for further recovery.
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As you've just learned, bodybuilding doesn't just increase muscle size, strength, and power, but also brain power. Begin taking advantage of the benefits of bodybuilding today and your brain will thank you!