Being in the Business of Brainpower…

Rocket Science

By Anne Laing & Tim Bean –

Back in the early days of the fitness industry we used to say “Staying in shape is simple – shut your mouth and move your legs. This isn’t rocket science.”

But hold on: this really is rocket science, as human beings are made up of incredibly complex systems, of which we are only just scratching the surface of understanding. We have systems in the body that need to be functioning optimally, as well as our mental and emotional well-being.

At ground level you have to know and apply the basics in order to prevent, what we call The Three Corporate Career Killers: ‘bail-out’, ‘burn-out’ or being ‘booted out’ from work – or even family.

The good news is that rocket science isn’t difficult for a rocket scientist. Flying a jumbo jet isn’t difficult for a jumbo jet pilot. And being a human being shouldn’t be difficult for a human being. You just have to learn how to do it and, when there is a genuine desire to take control of managing your body, it all becomes easier.

In the quest for a healthy body, one of the most overlooked areas is the brain. Studies suggest we start to lose our edge around the age of 40 when the brain shows signs of slowing. Many will experience some symptoms of mental deterioration, such as impaired concentration, short-term memory loss and difficulties learning new information.

The delicate balance of neurotransmitter production in the brain can be altered by hormone imbalances, chemical pollutants, medications or the choices we make regarding what we eat and drink.

Whenever you drink too much alcohol, or skip a nutrient-dense meal, or only ever eat starchy beige or white foods, you are not only depleting your body, but also starving your brain. It can take just a short time to see some of the effects: irritability, forgetfulness or food cravings. After many years this eventually leads to the formation of brain cell plaques and dementia.

A normal brain processes a thought at roughly one third of a second and the difference between a sharp functioning mind and senility is only a matter of milliseconds. Your brain speed is based on how quickly these electrical signals are processed. This rate is your real brain age, which can be quite different from your chronological age.

You can help safeguard against dementia, depression and other brain disorders.

How?

A healthy brain begins with a diet rich in high quality foods, low in processed grains and sugars, and your own on-going thirst for knowledge. Studies are now linking a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and brain shrinkage to those who eat a low-processed, high-plant and lean-protein diet.

This goes hand-in-hand with a suite of habits to help routine and planning. The power of eight is a good start.

8 coloured vegetables a day

8-inch plate

8 glasses of pure clean water

8 hours sleep a night, and

8,000 footsteps a day

Also:

– Avoid artificial sweeteners and MSG flavour enhancers found in many different food preparations that cause excito-toxicity within the brain.

– Add detoxifying greens such as Chlorella, Spirulina and green smoothies to detox heavy metals that affect the brain.

– Sleep. Get your 8 hours. Your brain builds up toxic waste during a busy working day. It needs restorative sleep to clean up and defrag.

– Take regular exercise. This produces greater blood flow to the brain and strengthens brain cell connections, protecting them from damage.

– Know your numbers. Keep your blood pressure, blood sugar and homocysteine in check. Balance waning hormones with bio-identical help from an anti-ageing specialist.

– Be social and connected, sure, but take time to disconnect and relax.

– Take up a hobby that challenges your brain.

– Never stop learning – go for mentally stimulating jobs that keep you challenged.

– Immerse yourself in another culture -new languages are a start. Russian, Arabic or Mandarin are the most difficult if you want to be really challenged.

– Get out of your comfort zone – challenge your business brain and seek out tough assignments. Take up public speaking!

– Manage stress – Seek out laughter and a yoga class…or the other way around (!)

What’s the link for business?

Like disease, stress manifests itself in a weakened body first and, regardless of the industry you are in, your business essentially runs on brainpower, so there’s tremendous value in protecting and preserving, what we call, your “Cerebral Capital”™. The mental capacity and function of key talent within your organisation is possibly the most valuable asset your business has.

You won’t find this on any balance sheet, yet the cost if something goes wrong – to the business, its customers and to families – is enormous. Incalculable even.

What is good for the body is always good for the brain!

There’s more information, discussion and strategic action points in our latest book “The Wealthy Body in Business” out now. Order your copy HERE

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Keeping Your Smarts…

By Anne Laing:

Brain Neurons Firing

It is well known that people who do not feel good about themselves do not perform well.

So what will really boost your brainpower, and what will make you lose your mind?

We are currently in Singapore and Hong Kong at the moment where is it still normal for the indigenous people to eat small meals regularly throughout the working day, and rarely consume any less than six to seven vegetables a day. The rates of obesity here are low and they suffer considerably less incidences of heart disease, cancer, diabetes or dementia.

Many of the diet charts we see from western cultures have only one to two coloured vegetables a day, and often consumed in just one meal. Their food balance is made up of a variation of refined grains, oils, sugar, salt, caffeine, dairy and chemicals – those all too familiar culprits that are NO better for the brain than they are for the body.

Rats fed diets high in saturated fat and sugar under-performed on tests of learning and memory, and humans who live on such diets lacking essential nutrients have a decreased rate of energy and concentration – and an increase in stress, mood disorders and dementia.

Solution:

A large variety of coloured vegetables and some fruits are brain super-foods. It doesn’t have to be the latest fad food, just foods that look like they have been grown on a farm.

These are high in antioxidants, which counteract atoms that damage brain cells.  They also keep your body free from acute illness and disease. Researchers have found that high-antioxidant diets keep learning ability and memory sharp in aging rats and even reduce brain damage caused by strokes and diabetes.

Exercise is number two in importance to improve the brain’s functions (planning, organizing, multitasking, and more). Exercise is also well known for its mood-boosting effects, and people who exercise are far less likely to get memory loss and confusion as they age. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which also increases the delivery of oxygen, fuel and nutrients to neurons.

Research has shown that exercise increases the levels of a substance called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which encourages growth, communication and extends the survival rates of neurons.

To prevent burnout, operate at top performance, have better focus and more energy, it is worth ‘making the time’ to get this right!