Brainy Moves

Has your intellect been hiding in the basement? Boost your brain to add some serious grey matter!
1) Occipital lobe

What is it?- Responsible for processing visual details, shapes and colours, the occipital lobe is found in the bottom of the back bulge of your grey matter.

Boost it- Learn to juggle. Clowning around with coloured balls can increase reaction times by up to 10 percent in just two months, according to neuroscientists at the University of Hamburg.


2) Dentate gyrus

What is it?
- These neurons lift your spirits when you are down.

Boost it- Get running. In Columbia University tests, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week boosted brain cell growth by a fifth. " The depletion of the cells is responsible for increasing depression or severe mental maladies with age, and regular exercise beats this" says the institute of Neurology, London.

3) Hippocampus
What is it?- Banana-shaped nuggets on either side of the brain, meant for awareness and memory consolidation

Boost it- A study at Glasgow Caledonian University found that consuming the equivalent of 25gm of sugar in a 200ml glass of orange juice can boost memory retention by a fifth. "Sugar boosts reaction times and memory function" says Dr. Leigh Riby
4) Pituitary gland
What is it?- The gland that controls your sleep and hunger hormones. It also produces the 'love rat' hormone vasopressin, linked to certain men's inability to stay faithful.
Boost it- Load up on manganese, found in egg yolks and fish. "Without this, your pituitary gland is unable to eliminate overloads of hormones that reduce sleep and increase appetite," says Dr Kit Ashley, Pituitary Foundation.
5) Brain Stem

What is it?- This crucial link between brain and brawn controls survival mechanisms and arousal

Boost it- "Stress causes the upper back muscles to constrict the nerve pathways and blood flow to the brain stem, resulting in shallow breathing and blackouts," says Dr. de silva. Get relief by squeezing your trapezius muscles, from your neck to shoulders in circular motions for five minutes.
6) Cerebellum

What is it?- This contains over 60% of your brain's neurons, coordinating your muscles for posture.

Boost it- Do 'Lazy 8s': Extend one arm in front of you, thumb pointing up, and trace a figure eight on its side, focusing ahead for five minutes twice a day. "It connects the cerebellum to different parts of your brain for better neuro-muscular control and spatial awareness," says Dr. de Silva. (source: Men's health Journal)
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