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.


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


– 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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Your Ultimate Power Source…

By Anne Laing –

I was going to skip my daily gym workout yesterday afternoon.  We had already walked hills planting trees, plus it was cold and I had computer work to catch up on.

I knew from past experience that I would feel much better after 30 minutes of heavy gym work.  I did eventually go (after much inner dialogue) and I did feel better — not just refreshed, but more energised, clear-headed and better prepared than I would have otherwise been to tackle the work load ahead.

I had to consciously reframe my exercise session thinking of it as a positive, restorative activity, therefore making it more likely that I would continue this daily habit – even though I often didn’t feel like doing it.

Many studies show that simply advocating physical activity to lose weight and be healthier won’t keep a busy business person on track for any length of time. The neuroscience of pain/reward has shown that it is the immediate paybacks of feeling better; having more energy, a better mood and less stress that will keep us motivated.

Many people are unconscious deflectors – devoting all their nurturing efforts and energies on others – but when we fail to prioritize self-care because we are too busy, our energy is not replenished and our health is not revitalised. Instead, we end up exhausted and mentally fatigued.

Our ability to ‘be there’ for loved ones, or to be on the top of our professional game, is compromised.

People who make physical activity a priority don’t necessarily have more time, motivation or passion than anybody else.  They will, however, book in a slot for exercise because they know it enhances how they feel, their energy, their performance and the quality of their work-life balance.

In Dr. Segar’s book “No Sweat” she writes about The Paradox of Self-care;

“The more energy you give to caring for yourself, the more energy you have for everything else.  View physical activity as a power source for everything else you want to accomplish.”

“Consistency always trumps Quantity!”

When establishing a fitness habit, remember that consistency is the key. Next is acknowledging challenges – always have a backup activity you can do.  This need not be as strenuous as your normal activity but something that will give you that feel-good reward – something as simple as a brisk evening walk at sunset.

So next time you’re tempted to flag away your training session in favour of work, weather or wine, remember that exercise is the power source for everything you want to accomplish in life…