Brooks & Crowley - January 2022

6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Boost Your Brain Power IS NEUROPLASTICITY THE SECRET TO SUCCESS?

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt throughout your life, forming new connections that can have a direct impact on your energy, productivity, focus, creativity, motivation, and much more. Your brain can expand and grow even after an injury.

Exercise is crucial because, according to brain plasticity researchers at IOS Press, exercise “alters the synaptic structure and function in various brain regions,” promoting brain growth and even delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Promoting growth can also be as simple (or as difficult) as focusing our attention on thoughts that bring us joy. Gratitude promotes very different brain activity than negativity, anger, or bitterness, and studies on gratitude show that the positive effects can be lifelong.

That’s why many entrepreneurs are saying the same thing: One of the smartest ways to invest in your business is to devote resources to your most important asset — your brain. But how do you keep your brain active, healthy, and functioning at a high level? Param Dedhia, MD, says six key areas are involved: sleep, exercise, joy, nutrition, internal medicine, and inflammation. All of these factors work independently, but together, they can promote neuroplasticity, which is why they all require equal attention.

Nutrition can’t be understated either, since it can assist your body in maintaining health and fighting inflammation. The brain uses about 20% of the body’s

calories, and eating plenty of omega-3 fatty acids can strengthen brain cells, while antioxidants reduce cellular stress and inflammation, which are linked to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

Everyone wants to stay engaged with the world around them, but you can’t do that without sleep. In fact, research published by the journal PLOS One discovered that getting six or fewer hours of sleep was associated with memory and executive function problems, i.e. problem-solving, planning, and execution. So, make sure you get enough sleep before tackling your day.

With the right habits, you can keep your brain healthy for many decades to come. You might even grow in entirely new and unexpected ways.

For Real, This Time How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

Start small. On Jan. 1, you’re probably enthusiastic about your resolution and ready to hit the ground running. Not so fast — doing too much too soon is a classic mistake. It’s okay to be excited, but working out until you’re sore all over or constantly eating salads you hate will turn your resolution into a chore that you’ll want to avoid. Start with light workouts or replacing some of your carbs with veggies. Once you get the hang of that, you’ll be ready to scale up slowly. Using these guidelines, you’ll make lasting changes that extend beyond February. Get 2022 started off on the right foot, and next year you’ll be ready to make a whole new resolution — and keep it.

New Year’s Eve has come and gone, and now that the champagne is finished and the decorations are put away, it’s time to buckle down and work on those New Year’s resolutions. The only problem is ... your resolutions for this year and last year are the same. Change is tough, so you’re not alone in being unable to stick to your resolutions. This year can be different, if you want it to be. Here are some tips to keep you on track. Have a specific goal. Many resolutions are vague — along the lines of “exercise more” or “eat healthier.” That’s too ambiguous to inspire motivation, and vagueness leaves room for excuses. Make your goal more concrete, so you can measure your success. Specific goals

could include going to the gym three times a week, being able to bench a certain number of pounds, or only indulging in fast food once a month. Make your goal realistic — if it’s too drastic or difficult, it’s easier to give up. Have a plan. Bad habits are hard to break, so change won’t come about naturally. It’s important to consider how you’ll structure your day around your resolution and what obstacles you might face. When will you go to the gym, and what will you do if that time gets interrupted? How will you plan meals to avoid spontaneous drive-thru visits? Write down what you want to accomplish and all the things that might stand in your way. Then, figure out how you’ll deal with them before they happen.

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