SPECIAL REPORT

Feeding the Brain

by Andre Frois
02 Nov 2017

Strong body equals strong mind, so approach your brain like you would a muscle

The world’s top Formula 1 drivers and golfers spend hours in the gym, even though their sports don’t emphasise physicality, but with good reason. The command center of one’s entire physiology, the brain actually needs to be nourished in more ways than food, and the best food for it, as vouched for by esteemed fitness experts, is strength training. Although not all of us have the computerized mental alertness training facilities that the world’s elite boxers and mixed martial artists like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Georges St-Pierre own, there are several accessible facilities in the metropolis that go a long way in sharpening the mind of the business leader.

  • UPLIFTING ACTIVITIES
  • COMPETE AGAINST YOURSELF
  • SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Uplifting Activities

“Weights training can be as mental as it is physical. Mind-to-muscle communication when you train is very important to ensure the correct muscles are working,” reveals multi-time bodybuilding champion, Mr Singapore 2016, and gym manager Mr. Danie Dharma. “Hitting the gym not only prevents injuries but also increases your mind’s ability to control your body.” While learning about biology and physiology help one’s mental capacity grow and prevent it from slowly shrivelling, gym sessions also activate numerous portions of the brain, studies have observed, when a person focuses on an exercise or ‘digs down deep’ to find the strength or stamina to complete a physically demanding task.

“Exercises that are not mentally strenuous are also very good for the brain,” trained psychotherapist Mr. Cheng Ting Kuang adds. “While exercises, high or low in intensity, that ease the brain into a relaxing meditative state can be very therapeutic, something important that exercise does is it gets endorphins pumping in the brain,” he remarks, referring to the ‘happy chemical’ that determines our moods.

While learning about biology and physiology help one’s mental capacity grow and prevent it from slowly shrivelling, gym sessions also activate numerous portions of the brain, studies have observed.
  • UPLIFTING ACTIVITIES
  • COMPETE AGAINST YOURSELF
  • SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Compete Against Yourself

Research has also proven that team, double- and single-player sports help assuage the effects of ageing on the brain. While team sports encourage communication, interaction and the forming of interpersonal bonds that lead to the rapid formation of new neural connections within the brain, former triathlete turned strength advocate Mr. Chris Lim swears by boxing. “By working on boxing technique and punching combinations, I get very focused and this translates to a great workout that enables a sharper and more productive mind. I will also feel pretty good for the rest of the day,” remarks Mr. Lim, who is also the strategic partner and lead trainer for his own unique form of boxing training, Still Boxing.

  • UPLIFTING ACTIVITIES
  • COMPETE AGAINST YOURSELF
  • SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Supplementary Information

Advocates of holistic nutrition tout two main principles: Nutrients are better absorbed when the whole spectrum is ingested, and physiological systems operate better when the every essential mineral is available. Health supplements are a good idea, but consuming the necessary vitamins and minerals by eating foods that naturally contain them, is always a better idea.

“Among the many supplements out there, I recommend multi-vitamins that particularly contain the B and C vitamins, as well as supplements that contain caffeine,” Mr. Dharma shares. “Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to sleep related problems and even neurological issues in the long run, but one or two servings a day helps keep your mind focused.”

“Getting enough sleep is also pretty important,” advises Mr. Lim, whose daily life revolves around several fitness related businesses. “Dietwise, I’m pretty relaxed, but a high-sugar (foods contain much energy) and fast-carb (foods that quickly raise blood sugar temporarily) diet will definitely make you sluggish and your mind dull, especially when the crash hits. If you want to stay sharp while at work, avoid those as much as you can.”



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