If you’re older than 25, then you are suffering from cognitive decline… unless you’re actively doing something about it. Read that again… basically, if you’re an adult and you’re not putting in the WORK, you’re getting dumber. That is not an exaggeration. It’s science, bro. On top of the fact that your brain is firing on fewer and fewer cylinders as time goes by, the overwhelming majority of new Alzheimer’s cases are not a result of genetic predisposition. These unfortunate declines are a result of poor habits and lifestyle choices. In other words, most people who suffer from a deterioration of mental faculties are suffering unnecessarily, and could have been avoided in the first place. So what are you doing to ward off these very serious, yet largely preventable issues? We can tell you a few things we think you SHOULD do, all of which have a significant positive impact on increasing the BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in your brain. BDNF is essential for learning and memory. Each of these things also has other unique ways of helping you avoid cognitive decline.
Ride a bike, walk, or, better yet, run. You don’t have to become the fastest runner in the world. In fact, you can’t. That title belongs, officially unofficially, to yours truly. You do, however, need to move in a capacity that is fucking uncomfortable for you. Push your own boundaries. In addition to the fitness benefits, the cardiovascular health benefits, the enhanced production of Vitamin D, and the skeleton-strengthening benefits of impact, your brain is also gaining great benefit… maybe as much as the rest of you… perhaps MOOOAAAR. Recent studies show that 120 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise per week can stave off Alzheimer’s for 20 years or more. That’s less than 20 minutes a day. Imagine the dumb shit you spend 20 minutes a day doing. I hate to break it to you, but binging on Netflix, scrolling through social media, and playing Candy Crush is not helping your brain. Replace the dumb shit with barbaric smart shit… that makes you smarter.
If you’ve read anything, ever, about fitness, you’re already well aware of the laundry list of benefits associated with resistance training, but are you aware of the cognitive benefits? A famous powerlifter recently said something about the effect of lifting weights being like a bubble bath for your brain… reducing stress and helping with mental acuity. Scientists, who are generally more eloquent than said powerlifter, have determined through actual studies, that resistance training reduces, stops, and in some cases reverses, the cognitive decline of those with pre-dementia and early-stage dementia. So… Do you even lift?
It’s the only way of eating that makes any sense when it comes to brain health. Why? Your brain is made up of a little protein, a little water, and a whole shitload of fat, mostly in the form of DHA. So are your skin and eyes, but we’ll talk about the benefits of a proper diet for those organs later. Stay focused. We’re talking about the brain. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and without adequate fat in the proper form (from eating nutrient-dense foods like our badass predecessors), you’re starving your brain of adequate nutrients. These nutrients are essential in rebuilding broken connections and keeping up with the age-related breakdown of, well... aging!
We teach you how to do that here. A recent study was done on exercise, mental acuity, and sleep, and what was found is that those who slept 6 hours or fewer for just 10 days, suffered a very slight impact on their lifting and physical endurance, but suffered a significant impact on their decision making, accuracy in remembering details, and general cognition. So go to bed. Take a nap. Whatever. Just get proper sleep.
Head injuries are an obvious danger which is, incidentally, less likely to occur when your body is strong and your split-second decision-making is tip top from proper rest and nutrition… but also avoid poisoning your brain. We’ve told you what to put in your body, but what you don’t put in, and on, your body is just as important. Seed oils, aluminum-laden deodorants, sunscreens with linoleic acid, processed foods that make you fat, bloated, and farty… they’re all destroying your hormones, your body, and your brain, and leading you to a swift decline in cognition.
So, basically what we’re saying here is that practicing some of our lifestyle tenets (nose-to-tail nourishment, struggle, sleep, avoiding dangers…sun, too, if you’re getting cardio outside as I told you to) leads to improved overall brain health. So get smart if you’re not. If you are, stay that way.