Two weeks ago we investigated Natural Substances that Regenerate, that article covered
5 foods that can support tissue regeneration. Today we are going to look at what else can influence your body's regenerative potential. We are blessed to have a whole arsenal of lifestyle strategies that you can turn into daily habits to support your health and wellbeing!
Exercise or movement is well-known to induce neurogenesis (nerve-creation) in many parts of the brain, in the prevention of cognitive decline.
Exercise also positively affects damaged parts of the brain. It has been observed in studies that regular exercise during old age may enhance hippocampal (learning & memory) size by 2%!
As one of the oldest forms of human language and connection, music can rewire your brain and improve brain cell regeneration. Music also positively affects our hormone levels, which in turn facilitates brain cell repair and regeneration.
Different music styles have different effects for different people. We see that natural sounds may enhance cognitive functioning and concentration, while classical music is beneficial for relaxation.
Go with whatever brings you joy!
Research has shown us that meditation can change your brain in many beneficial ways. From increasing the density of brain grey matter in regions involved in memory and learning and emotional regulation.
13 studies using various meditative practices reported significant increases in grey matter volume in the individuals who meditated.
#4. BRAIN TRAINING - Just like we train our body to repair and become stronger, we need to be training our brain to regain strength as well. So training your brain as you age is key for brain regeneration.
Our muscles will atrophy if we don't use them, as will our brain if we don't challenge it. Many apps exist that can facilitate this training (my favourite is PEAK), but taking on a new hobby can be just as powerful. Knitting, photography and puzzles are just a few examples.
When we engage in these purposeful activities, it leads to stress reduction and neurological stimulation.
Studies show that new brain cells will die if you don't engage in new learning experiences. So learning new skills increases the survival of your precious brain cells.
REGENERATION IS A ONGOING PRACTICE
To engage our natural restorative powers we must take responsibility over allowing that to happen on a daily basis. Using foods as discussed last week and some lifestyle practices discussed here, we can expect the cells of our body to experience regular turnover and rejuvenation.
When creating any new change, becoming aware and conscious of it is the first step. Create reminders for yourself to keep up with your new commitments. When we couple an elevated emotion like joy, love or happiness with our new intention, our brain will respond with new neural circuitry that will lead us to a new mind and a new body.
Simon Brazier. Dip HN, NNCP