9 Pillars of Brain Health – Re-Grow Your Brain at Any Age
Picture this— an all too familiar scene:
You just walked into a party and immediately spot a familiar face. You’ve met this gent a few times before… in fact, last time you had a long, excited conversation about your mutual love of sailing.
As you walk towards him with a big smile, it suddenly hits you: You can’t remember his name. Ack! What it it? Bill, Barry, Brian… ?
As hard as you try to bring that name forth, you just keep drawing frustrating blanks. You knew it last time you saw him. (Bruce, Brendon… Brad?)
A bit of panic sets in as he sees you and happily waves you over, but unfortunately your brain just isn’t delivering the goods.
What gives? How can you remember him— but not his name?
If this were just a one-time memory fluke with the sailing guy (whose names turns out to Jeff), you wouldn’t be too worried.
Unfortunately, this situation is getting all too familiar.
As much as you hate to admit it, you’ve been a little slow on the uptake lately. Come to think of it, a little low on creativity too.
So far it’s not life threatening— just annoying. And a little embarrassing.
You joke about your “senior moment”, even though you’re only 51. But deep down, you’re getting a little nervous.
Guess what? You’re not alone.
Over time, most people start noticing their brains aren’t as sharp as they used to be— or as fast as they should be. And they’re right.
Is brain shrinkage real?
I’ll start with the bad news, but don’t worry: There’s great news on the way.
The fact is, your brain shrinks with age, starting around age 35. This shrinkage is caused by dying brain cells.
And if you don’t actively use your brain from this point forward, you will physically lose it.
Brain shrinkage is so common that neuroscientists can guess your age just by looking at your brain scan on an MRI.
And no big surprise: A smaller brain means poorer memory and cognitive performance.
This means unless you’re actively using your brain (and your body), you’ll be:
- Increasingly slower at learning
- Struggling to recall memories, names and faces
- Working harder to focus and concentrate
- Having a hard time making decisions
And remember, this decline can start as early as age 35. That’s the bad news.
Here’s the great news:
You don’t have to struggle like this… You CAN grow your brain back at ANY age!
Over the next 9 weeks, I’ll introduce you to each of our 9 Pillars of Brain Health, one pillar a week.
We carefully developed these pillars using scientifically proven methods to show you exactly how to re-grow your brain— and in the process: boost your memory, improve concentration, and even increase your creativity and learning speed.
This means you CAN start re-growing your brain in simple, doable steps—starting today.
Plus, over the course of the next nine weeks you’ll also be learning about the science behind growing a larger brain, and how you can apply this knowledge to every aspect of your life—from your work, to your health and fitness, to your personal relationships.
Let’s get started.
>>> Click here to take a quick “Brain Fitness” Test to measure where you’re at today.
In this test, you’ll answer 20 easy multiple-choice questions, and then calculate your score.
**Be sure to write down your results and today’s date so you can track your progress as we move forward.**
At the midway point of this program, we’ll have you take the test again to see how you’re doing, and then once again at the end, so you can compare your results.
If you stick us, you can expect to be enjoying vastly improved brain performance in just nine weeks—and all the benefits that come along with it.
Can I Really “Re-Grow” My Brain?
These 9 Pillars of Brain Health have absolutely worked for us, and our mission is for them to change YOUR life… and hopefully the lives of your friends and family.
We understand that’s a big ask.
But I’m confident that by following our Pillars, you will have the knowledge and kn0w-how to permanently improve your memory, concentration and overall happiness after these nine weeks.
In the first couple weeks, you’ll start noticing the effects in various aspects of your daily life. You might even feel better than you have in years.
Bottom line is: You don’t have to struggle with a fading memory, or accept “brain fog” as an inevitable burden of aging. Our brains are designed to re-grow at any age, and I can assure you based on scientific data: The power for change is within you.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect?
As you move through our 9 Pillars of Brain Health, be prepared to notice:
- You’re more alert and focused
- You have more energy
- You’re sharper and faster in conversations
- You’re sleeping better and waking up refreshed
- Your physical health is improving
- You’re calmer, happier and more confident
What do you say? Let’s dive in and get going.
Brain Health Pillar #1: Exercise
If you’ve exercised before, you know how good you feel after the workout.
Well, you may be surprised to learn that exercise isn’t just good for your heart and your physical appearance… Exercise is CRITICAL to your brain health.
In fact, exercise is one of the BEST tricks for memory improvement.
Why? Because physical activity naturally re-grows new brain cells.
Brain Mapping and Exercise
For a long time, researchers have noted that exercise reduces the risk of dementia in the elderly, but only in recent years have we begun to shed light on exactly what’s going on in your brain when you exercise.
In 1999, Neuroscientist Dr. Gage and his team discovered that physical activity dramatically increases the production of new neurons, a.k.a.: the rate at which your brain is able to grow new cells.
In fact, exercise specifically helps grow the area of your brain called the hippocampus, which is the part of your brain where you create and store memories. It is effectively the functioning space where all your memories live.
I like to refer to this area as the “hippopotamus,” as it’s the big dog in town when it comes to your memory.
But guess what?
The hippopotamus is one of the FIRST places in your brain that shrinks with age. And just as you might imagine, a smaller hippopotamus equals not just limited memory recall, but also limited quality of memory.
Is exercise proven to help brain cells regenerate? (YES.)
In another study by University of Pittsburgh, Assistant Professor Kirk Erickson took 120 healthy adults, aged 60 to 80, and split them into two groups.
The first group walked briskly three times a week during this study, while the other group did zero physical exercise. All participants received MRIs at the beginning and end of the study, as well as blood tests for a brain chemical that indicates the growth of new brain cells.
Over a one-year period, the participants who walked three times per week saw their hippocampi grow by 2%.
Considering the hippocampus shrinks on average of .05% a year, this means these study participants walked off FOUR YEARS of brain aging!
On the other hand, the group that did absolutely zero exercise saw their brains shrink by 1.4% over the same period. And when it came to memory functioning, the walkers also performed better.
Conclusion? Walking literally re-grew their brain.
Brain-Boosting Benefits of Exercise – At Any Age
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what level of health you’re at now. Even if you’ve been inactive for most of your life, starting an exercise routine at any age is NOT futile.
Most incredibly, there are NO medications we know of that can re-grow brain cells like our bodies are naturally wired to do.
This phenomenon doesn’t just benefit the elderly.
Children who are physically fit have larger hippocampi than their sedentary peers— as much as 12% larger. They also perform better on memory tests.
To top it off, the effect of physical activity can be immediate. Multiple studies have shown that students who did just a short period of intense exercise before taking a test—say 50 jumping jacks—increased their test scores by 10%.
What about adding intensity and weight training?
In one study at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, participants added high intensity interval training and weight lifting to their current workouts. In just 4 months, these participants showed a 10-25% increase in short-term memory and cognitive processing speed.
Add to all of this the fact that exercise reduces the risk of stroke by up to 50%… And you have to admit: This is NO small impact!
Suffice to say: You need physical activity in your life to create AND enjoy all those wonderful memories for many years to come.
How To Improve Memory & Concentration Through Movement
Here’s how to start.
(Note: If it’s been a long time since you’ve exercised, check with your doctor for suggestions before starting a new exercise regime.)
- If you’ve never been an exerciser or if it has been a long time, start slow.
A great place to start is by taking 10-minute walks, three times per week. Just enjoy the fresh air! Then, keep adding 10 minutes to your walk each week, until you get up to 30 – 60 minutes.Also, try adding 10 minutes of resistance training two times a week using light hand weights, or simply your body weight.
- If you exercise occasionally, we recommend brisk walking or jogging three times a week for 20 minutes. Add 10 minutes each week until you get to 30 or 45 minutes of brisk movement, three times a week, and gradually increase the intensity until you get to 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. Meanwhile, add 15 minutes of resistance or weight lifting twice a week… and pay attention to any changes in your memory, concentration, sleep quality and overall sense of well-being. Not to mention the complements you might start getting with all that movement. 😉 If you’re not a walker, any aerobic activity like swimming or biking is a great substitution.
- If you already exercise regularly, be sure to keep upping the intensity! Also, try including high intensity interval training and weight lifting at least 2-3 times week.
Anyone can re-grow brain cells and improve memory and concentration, no matter where you start!
Your Mission: Watch Memory Mastery Class #3 to more about the critical protein, BDNF in your brain. We already know BDNF is increased with exercise. What else can increase BDNF?
Watch Memory Mastery Class #3 Now.
Have fun— and leave your comments below to let me know how it’s going!
Julia Lundstrom, Neuroscience and Brain Health Educator
Simple Smart Science