Working out can get us closer to a better brain. And according to a new study, this can be done vice-versa. You can train your brain to help you work out. Just follow these five brain tricks.
We all know that the mind and body are inextricably intertwined. This special connection is called “the mind-body connection,” and this connection can come up in any situation in your life. And although it may often be negative, we can use this connection in extremely positive ways as well. For example, working out can get us closer to a better brain. And according to a new study, this can be done vice-versa. You can train your brain to help you work out.
According to neuroscientist Allison Brager, an athlete on the U.S. Army Warrior Fitness team and author of Meathead: Unraveling the Athletic Brain, athletic performance—as well as the motivation to work out in the first place—is greatly intertwined with neurological factors. Interestingly, “the brain of an athlete is unique,” she shares. “Research shows that a brain scan alone could determine who is an elite athlete versus who is an amateur athlete.”
That said, anyone’s brain can be trained, to a certain degree, to more closely mimic that of an elite athlete. Dr Brager says. Whether you’re an aspiring athlete or a couch potato with good intentions, the following “brain tricks” may bring you a few steps—nay, strides—closer to your fitness goals.
Brain trick #1: Tap into muscle memory
The more you exercise, the fitter you become; the fitter you become, the less physically tiring exercise feels. Another lesser-known benefit of repetition, however, is memory. Unlike the physical strengthening of your muscles, muscle memory is neurological. The more you practice something, the more second nature it becomes due to strengthening the connections between the central and peripheral nervous systems. Plus, the more experience you have, the…less energy [the brain] requires to initiate movement and receive information.
Brain trick #2: Adopt a “no-fail” mindset
“Mindset is everything,” Dr Brager asserts. “The body can accomplish an enormous amount of work with a strong mind,” she says, “but as soon as the mind gives up, it’s over.” So the most important thing is to ‘think’ you can do it. Failure is not an option.
Brain trick #3: Understand neuroplasticity—and let it be your motivator
Exercise reaches far beyond strengthening and toning down your body. You might have heard that exercising releases endorphins in your body. Likewise, Exercise leads to a physiological phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. Essentially, neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to various external factors. As it relates to exercise, neuroplasticity increases the areas in the brain that controls movement and perception and sensation.
Brain trick #4: Harness the power of hard-hitting tunes
Are you the type that listens to music while working out? Ever wondered why certain playlists and tunes make you more energetic to work out? It turns out that there is a neurological connection between music and the way you feel. So it is easier to put you into a certain mood through music. And this is applicable to the mood for working out as well. There are scores of research papers and controlled studies demonstrating that music enhances athletic performance significantly. Moreover, music can also create an increased commitment to exercise, resulting in people working out more frequently and for prolonged periods.
Brain trick #5: Meditate
Meditation promotes physical and mental rest, both of which are necessary for athletic performance. It is a useful tool for augmenting recovery. Many athletes meditate daily. Meditating is the most performance-enhancing drug out there
So hope you all abide by these five tricks and achieve your workout goals. Remember working out is not just necessary for your body, but for your brain as well.