Tag Archives: healthy mind

10 Tips to Wake Up the Brain

10 Tips to Wake Up, Refresh, & Energize Your Brain

Bad News:
It’s Monday morning.
Coffee is not working.
Schedule for the day involves a lot of thinking, talking, and moving.

Good News:
Coffee is not the only solution to life’s problems.

Weekday mornings are never appealing to the brain. However, there are certain things you can do to ease the torturous time and effort to wake up, refresh, and energize your mind. Check out our tips below:

  1. Drink Water — Drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up to kick up your metabolism and de-fog your brain.
  2. Don’t “Snooze” — You’re setting yourself up to feel lazy & unmotivated throughout the day when you delay waking up and hit “snooze” multiple times in the morning. Pick a time that gives you enough sleep but also enough time to go through your morning routine without rushing, and wake up when your first alarm rings.
  3. Open the Blinds – Sunlight has a direct effect on the activity in our brains. When we deprive our brains of light, we will stay in a groggy, sleep-like state of consciousness. Bright light helps shift our brain waves to higher frequencies and triggers the release of brain-happy neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
  4. Exercise in the Morning — The act of exercising in the morning might sound horrendous if you’ve never done it, but besides obvious health reasons, it’ll actually give you more energy throughout the whole day. Try sleeping in your workout clothes to lessen the chances of making excuses in the morning.
  5. Turn up the Music — Listen to some upbeat tunes as you get ready in the morning. Studies have shown that music is the one stimulus that lights up the entire brain on a PET scan. Music helps the brain release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the brain’s pleasure and reward centres, as well as emotional responses and motivation. 
  6. Take a Cold Shower — No explanation needed. It’s horrible. But it works.
  7. Don’t treat Coffee like a “Drug” — On days you feel more energized, try to forego the coffee, or at least try cutting down the amount you drink everyday. If you absolutely need a pick-me-up, try drinking some brain-healthy green tea instead!
  8. Eat Breakfast — Take the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” seriously. Breakfast gives your brain vital nutrients that it needs in order to optimally carry out mental processes throughout the day. Think of it as fuel for your body, without it, you’ll run out of fumes! Try including some brain-healthy foods in your breakfast diet.
  9. Talk to Someone — Engage in some light chit-chat with a family member, friend, or co-worker in the morning. Even though you might not feel like it, taking the initiative to engage in a conversation really helps to get your mind & body out of a “zombie-like” state.
  10. Play Fit Brains — Prep your brain for a new day’s workload by spending a few minutes playing Fit Brains brain games. Fit Brains exercises help stimulate and sharpen your mental responses, and prime your mind to better focus on the tasks throughout the day. You can play Fit Brains on any web browser or train on-the-go with our iOS, Android, or Amazon app!

Fit Brains

Do YOU have any “wake-up” tips of your own? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #wakeupbraintip!

Fit Brains’ List of Happiness!

laughter

Besides keeping your mind sharp & active with brain training, one of the key points to having a healthy brain is making sure you are thinking happy thoughts!

This is why the Fit Brains team have created our on-going user-generated List of Happiness!  Anyone who needs a little pick-me-up at anytime will just have to visit this list to break a smile :) 

YOU can be a part of this list too…

What is one thing that triggers happiness in YOUR brain?  

Leave us your happy answer in the comments & we’ll add it to the list!

  • “Dancing keeps my body and mind happy and healthy” – Carol A. Keierleber
  • “MUSIC triggers happiness in my brain!” – Jordan Leo Yelle
  • “Books!” – Ulanda Dargis
  • “Spending time with my granddaughter” – Sharon Bylevedlt
  • “My pets” – Sylenda Harvey
  • “Meditation” – Ravel Viirsalu
  • “A hug” – Wendy Vanns
  • “Walk quickly 40 minutes/day” – Charles Eggerstedt
  • “Riding my bike to the local park to watch the sunset over the mountains” – Deane Alban
  • “Planting seeds” – Gail Asher Wells
  • “Seeing a smile” – Denise Gooch Orr

RECIPE: Easy Lamb Chops with Blackberry Sauce (improves learning ability)

lamb with blackberry sauce

As we get older, it gets harder for our brain cells to communicate with each other. Therefore, it gets harder to learn new things.  Blackberries provide potent antioxidants known as polyphenols that zap inflammation and encourage communication between neurons, improving our ability to soak up new information!

Check out this healthy, easy. & scrumptious lamb chops recipe that features a delicious blackberry sauce.  If you don’t eat lamb, you can also substitute the lamb with beef.  Dinner is served!

Easy Lamb Chops with Blackberry Sauce

Serves: 2-4

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups blackberry pulp
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 4 lamb chops

Putting it all Together:

  • Saute the shallots and garlic in hot olive oil until translucent.
  • Mix the blackberry pulp, honey, clove, cardamon and jalapeno in a bowl.
  • Add the wine and cook until reduced to half.
  • Grill the lamb, and serve with sauce drizzled over top!

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you.  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

RECIPE: Apricot Custard (improves eyesight)

apricot custard

A yummy & healthy dessert to improve your visual senses after endless hours of looking at screens and books!  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

Apricot Custard

Serves: 4-6

What you need:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 eggs

Putting it all Together:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • If using dried apricots, soak and drain prior to using.
  • Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
  • Pour into oiled custard cups.
  • Place cups in a pan of hot water.
  • Bake for 45 minutes and serve warm!

6 Tips To Relax The Mind

Sometimes, the influx of work and daily to-dos are stressful for many of us.  Our brains will likely become exhausted on more than a few occasions so we need to remember how to relax the mind!

Here are 6 tips from the Fit Brains team to help you clear & calm the brain during those stressful days!

  1. Yoga / meditation – Practicing yoga or meditation will help relax the body, mind, and soul. Sign up for a trial yoga class, many community centers will offer the 1st class for free. You can also try meditating at home by sitting in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, clearing your mind, and thinking about one specific but stress-free thing for 10-30 minutes.
  2. Keep hydrated – Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and clean. Toxins can build up in the body if it is dehydrated, which will often clog up the mind.
  3. Listen to music – Listening to music you enjoy triggers natural endorphins in your brain, so take a break and listen to some soothing music that you love.
  4. Shut off your brain – Do something mindless and/or repetitive. Activities like easy chores or light exercises are good because they don’t require a lot of thinking. Good examples are swimming, folding laundry, going for a walk, doing the dishes.
  5. Eat right – Cut back on stimulating foods such as coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and candy. Also try to avoid processed & artificial foods. You are what you eat so you need to eat healthy to have a healthy mind!
  6. Treat yourself – Do something you love and know will lower your stress level. We have all been living in our bodies long enough to know the things we like to do that will help us relax. Sometimes all we need is a break! Take a nap, get a massage, melt away in a bubble bath…do whatever you need to do to recharge yourself!

While brain breaks are great once in a while, don’t forget to keep your mind active on a regular basis to maintain its optimal performance! The Fit Brains Trainer app is great for exercising the mind without any burden of stress.  If you have kids, they can develop their brain skills with our new Fit Brains for Kids app as well!

Top 10 Brain Foods

You are what you eat” – that’s a saying we always hear!  However, most people think about how food affects the body, but not the brain.  The brain needs proper nutrients just like the rest of your body.  It actually needs more energy to operate properly than other organs!

Here are 10 brain foods you can incorporate into your daily diet to maintain a healthy brain:

 

1. Salmon - Improves brain tissue development, fights cognitive decline.
2. Blueberries - Improve memory, reduce stress, reduce age-related declines in motor function and coordination.
3. Avocados - Increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure to maintain effective mind functioning.
4. Flax Seeds - Build and protect neurons, aid the processing of sensory information.
5. Coffee (in moderation) - Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia…and of course, gives you a brain energy boost!
6. Nuts - Improve memory and mental clarity, fight insomnia.
7. Whole Grains - Promote cardiovascular health, which improves circulation flow to the brain.
8. Tomatoes - Eliminate free radicals in your body, prevent age-related cognitive diseases.
9. Eggs - Provides energy for your brain, improves memory.
10. Dark Chocolate (in moderation) - Increases focus and concentration, improves your mood!

 

What foods do you eat to keep your mind active & healthy?  Leave a comment and let us know!