Brain Training

tumblr_static_exercise-Get your trainin’ on!

Have you ever heard the expression,”Your brain is a muscle”? Well, it isn’t really true from a literal standpoint (it’s technically an organ), however it DOES require exercise in order to stay strong and keep on developing healthily. Mental exercise can come from activities such as reading, creative writing, solving math equations, crossword puzzles and so on. As beneficial these types of exercises can be for your mental health and as crucial as they are for optimizing your cognition, they are not the only training your thinking “muscle” needs.

Actual physical exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function in both the SHORT TERM and LONG TERM!

If you’ve ever started off the day at they gym, jogging or walking outside or doing some morning yoga you may already be familiar with the powers of a solid workout. It can boost your mood and increase your focus on tasks that lie in the day ahead. And not only that, but so long as you’re not overtaxing your body and it’s not your first workout ever (you may notice the need for more sleep or a short nap in the beginning stages of a workout routine) that you have more sustained energy throughout the day.

Exercise leads to an increase in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which has been shown to increase learning and memory, improve cell signaling and even reverse the negative affects of Alzheimer’s disease. You can read more about that here.

To get all sciency on you for a sec, it works like this… exercise induces FNDC5 (and the expression of  FNDC5  is regulated by PGC-1α), which is secreted as a substance called irising in the blood which then induces BDNF in the hippocampus and voilà! You’ve got yourself some good old fashioned nueroprotection!

So, some of the short term benefits of exercise are:

-Improved Focus

-Improved Memory

-Increased Enery

-Improved Mood

…and all of this will lead to an increase in productivity!


In addition to all these benefits, the long term effects of exercise on the brain are incredible as well. Physical activity helps significantly with preventing AND treating nuerologic diseases. Regular physical exercise has been shown to have such positive effects on brain health that it’s been implemented in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (you can check out a few of the studies conducted on this subject here.. 1, 2), a progressive and debilitating disease.

As stated earlier, physical activity has also been shown to up-regulate hippocampal BDNF. And this increase in BDNF may play an important role in mood states, learning and memory to lessen the decline in cognitive function associated with MS. The study referenced in link [2]” looks at the differences between MS patients who were more active and physically fit and those who more sedentary.  In additton to performing better on cognition tests, the study found the following:

“Physically fit MS patients had fewer lesions compared to those who weren’t as fit and the lesions they did have tended to be smaller”



In addition to these studies we have some pretty strong anecdotal evidence of exercise’s impact on MS. Recently, a Danish woman who had been diagnosed with MS completed the absolutely astonishing feat of running 366 marathons in a total of 365 days. But that’s not it… she now says she has no symptoms of MS. Now, her claim isn’t exactly scientific, and it’s surely counterintuitive, but the fact that she is even still alive after that  is almost unbelievable in itself. So if she’s still walking around and if she says she’s free of symptoms I believe her! That’s not to say that you should go out and attempt a marathon tomorrow, but it does speak to the positive effects of exercise. You can read a little more about the story here.

It seems that exercise exposure enhances your brain’s resistance to stress, leading to more resilience when it comes to some of the underlying causes of conditions like MS and Alzheimer’s. If physical exercise can have this much of a protective effect on those with degenerative nuerologic disease then it is definitely something you should be including in your lifestyle, whether your goal is to optimize concentration or to just prevent diseases like MS, Alzheimer’s or dementia in general.

So get exercising! Get outside and catch some sunshine, get in the gym and hit the eliptical or head to your garage and pump some iron… do whatever you need to do to get your muscles moving. Your brain will thank you and you productivity will skyrocket!


How To Increase Concentration Now!


Are your focus and memory as strong as you’d like them to be? How about your ability to solve problems or deal with stressful deadlines? If you end up procrastinating as I have most of my life then please read on! Improving my diet and lifestyle and experimenting with knowingly safe and effective supplements has improved my cognitive abilities extensively and I believe it can do the same for you.


Let’s learn How To Increase Concentration Now!

Ever hear of “The Cocktail Effect”? It’s basically the art of selective listening, or ignoring noises, or voices, in your surrounding area and focusing in on one. This analogy can be applied to your ability to focus on things like work, or learning a new skill. This is becoming more and more of a lost art as we are bombarded with all sorts of new distractions like television, video games, viral Youtube videos… and the list goes on and on! Luckily, there are a multitude of things you can do to increase concentration!

1. Eat the right foods for brain health

This obviously will include a well balanced diet, but that’s not as simple to achieve as one might think. In order determine what the best foods for brain health are it’s a smart idea to determine if you have any food allergies first. You can do this via an elimination diet or ALCAT Test. If you have any food allergies or intolerances then you most likely have digestion issues as well. The health of your digestive tract is directly related to your immunity as well as brain health. Get this in order with a proper diet such as SCD or GAPS or any other diet aimed at healing the gut. Then you can proceed on your journey to increase concentration and improve your brain health.

Once food allergies and intolerances are ruled out you can look to high quality and nutrient dense foods for brain health that will increase concentration. These include:

1. Grass Fed Beef

2. Wild Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and other DHA / EPA rich fish

3. Coconut Oil

4. Grass Fed Butter

5. Pastured Eggs

6. Raw Green Smoothies (you can check out some killer recipes here)


Total body cleansing is also extremely helpful to increase concentration and improve brain function. Cleansing of heavy metals, environmental and synthetic toxins and proper detoxifying are essential to improve brain function.

Once your body is back in shape, a well thought out supplement plan can do wonders for to increase concentration. MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil is great addition. If you’re up for some scientific jargon check out this study on MCTs and how they improve brain function. If not, then to summarize it basically shows how MCTs administered to hypoglycemic/Type 1 Diabetic patients was able to improve brain function.

There are many quality brands of MCT oil on the market, but my favorite is Bullet Proof Upgraded. The whole line of products is top quality. Check it out here (Yes that’s an affiliate link… feel free to check out other brands, but if this article helped you and you decide to go with Upgraded MCT oil I’d appreciate the click!)

Enjoy your journey on the path to improve brain function and increase concentration now!