When it comes to optimization and peak performance, you sometimes need to think differently. Sometimes thinking differently may actually be easy!
Here’s 2 things I’m currently experimenting with to improve my health and brain power.
Nose breathing to improve memory. A recent study came out from JNeurosci that outlined how breathing through the nose helped strengthen memories. At a high level, when you breath through your nose, odors and neural oscillations help encode memories stronger than when compared to mouth breathing. I’ve attached the link above to the actual report.
So, how do I plan to incorporate this in my day routine? Simple, when reading and studying, I’m beginning to focus on calm relaxed nasal breathing in order to see if I can retain deeper memory recall of facts and information. While I have no data to support any personal results yet, slow relaxed nasal breathing does seem to give me the “side effect” of a more parasympathetic dominant response to my nervous system. (i.e. the branch of the nervous system that is relaxed and focused on repair). In other words, I feel much more calm.
Balance Board for core strength, injury prevention and a strong neural connection. Some of you might think balance boards are for kids or the elderly but in reality, top tier athletes use them to improve coordination and strengthen their core. Balance boards improve your proprioception which is the neural connection to sense body position. You brain is continually “self correcting” by firing off signals to flex and relax to maintain balance. Balance practice keeps a powerful connection from the mind to your nervous system, muscles and tendons throughout your life and can help you avoid falls and injuries.
I’ve been adding about 5 to 10 minutes of balance board work into my daily routine and I can tell you from personal experience, you will feel it in all the “little” stabilizing muscles you don’t think about. While I’ve only been doing it for about a week, I have some high hopes for this new workout addition. Here’s a link to study that outlines how balance training improves memory and spatial cognition. I’ve been using this balance board below.