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Episode 20: What Really Works to Have A Better Brain

Video Highlights

​Hi everybody! I’m Dr. Cobb, back with you.

I hope you’re having a fantastic week!

This week, I want to talk about exercise and your brain performance.

Now, one of the things that we are learning as we are talking more and more to consumers around the world is that people have an ongoing, burning, interest in having their brains perform better. If you look at the way our world is engaging with information that makes complete sense.

​It’s amazing! If you’re walking around with a smartphone, you have access to more information right now, literally with a click of a button, than ever before in human history.

You actually have access to almost all the information on the planet, with the click of a button, which means that our wisdom about how we apply information, and in fact our mental processing speed, really needs to keep creeping up in order for us to stay current with emerging information that can be useful to our health, to our lives, to our businesses, to our families.

​Now, with that in mind, I have a huge passion for helping people improve cognitive performance. Whether that’s reading fast or reading better, having better memory, hearing better, whatever it is, how do they take in information and apply it more readily? One of the things we’ve been looking at in this realm is the effect of exercise on brain function.

​There’s a lot of speculation in this arena still, but one of the things that we’ve learned fairly recently is that aerobic exercise seem to have a profound impact both on growth of brain cells, circulation, and actual cognitive improvement. That’s kind of neat, thinking, “okay, 20, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise can actually not only improve my heart function and my general fitness, but it may help me think better.”

​I’ve been talking to people about that for some time, but also bringing up this idea – concept that we have – that the mindfulness that we bring to exercise, how much we focus, how much calmness it brings, will also have an impact. It was a study published, just a couple of weeks ago, that was very interesting and it looked at the impact of a 20 minute yoga session versus a 30 minute session of aerobic exercise on cognitive performance.

Close up of a cup of tea and a napkin that says "mind full or mindful?"

What they found was that the yoga session actually dramatically outperformed the cardiovascular session in terms of immediate impact on mental functioning. Now, the researchers were like, “We don’t know why, but it seems that the mindfulness brought to it in the relaxation, the decreasing in stress, actually had a really profound influence on concentration, reaction times, and some of the other measures that we would apply when looking at cognitive performance.”

​Now, how is this important to you? It’s pretty simple: you want a better brain, you need to exercise, that’s number one. Secondly, what type of exercise should you be doing, if you want a better brain? I think the evidence is growing that cardiovascular exercise, getting your heart rate up, working intensely periodically is a great idea.

On the other hand, what they call mind-body practices, much like what we do in Z-Health where we’re focusing on joint mobility, we’re focusing on excellent movement – things that require some level of concentration but that are also fun, interesting and mindful.

The combination of those two [exercise and mindfulness] may be one of the best combinations that you can arrive at to really improve how your brain functions on a day-to-day basis.

​My challenge to you this week is, if you are already an owners of some of the Z-Health materials – try it! Go ahead and try some of the basic mobility drills or go back in previous blogs, look at some of the exercises that we’ve provided.

Go online. Check stuff out.

Try a mindfully guided exercise session this week, see how it makes you feel. I think you may be really impressed with the calmness that it brings, the peacefulness that it brings, and subsequent to that, what it does for your concentration in mental performance.

​There you have it! Something to think about.

I hope you have a fantastic week!

Let us know if you have any questions about this or how we can help you proceed.


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