When we think about the terms ‘performance’ and ‘nourishment’, the majority of us relate these to exercise and the food we eat. But have you ever considered that alongside these physical benefits, movement also has the ability to nourish your mind and improve your mental performance?
“Movement is not just moving your body, it’s about having a full sensory experience.”
With a PhD specialising in neuro-imaging, Dr. Ram first became curious for the field of neuroscience whilst working with animals (mainly in surgeries) and says
“I became interested in what the neural networks were doing… We all have brains, but how does it work? That was the mystery.”
What once was a mystery to Dr. Ram -and many others around the globe- neuroscience is now providing the understanding of how we think, feel and react to our external world.
Knowing how to use this new information has the most potential, because by grasping a little of these emerging findings, Dr. Ram believes that everyday people will be able to learn “how not to overload the brain, how to nourish it and how to interact better with others – it provides the platform for everyday life.”
Balanced or imbalanced
how does your brain shape up?
“Integration of the brain is a synchrony of all the different brain networks.”
We all strive to have a balanced lifestyle, the idealistic ‘work-life’ balance, but what about our brain – do you know what to look for? A balanced brain is one where all the neural networks are working together. This is having a well-integrated brain.
What does each network control?
The 5 main neural networks:
- Brain stem network – your link to the rest of the body.
- Limbic network – your emotional network.
- Association areas – bidirectional connection with the front and back of the brain to integrate your sensory information with your language, for example.
- Projection network – connects many areas of the sensory-motor cortices to the brainstem.
- Callosal network – travels horizontally connecting the two hemispheres.
Dr Ram believes it is “important to have a diverse range of activity to keep the mind stimulated,” and that improving the performance and balance of one’s brain, requires “doing different activities that benefit the left hemisphere – the more analytical side, and those that benefit the right hemisphere, the more creative side.”
So how does movement come into play?
“Movement is a very important concept to consider because the human body was designed to move.” Dr. Ram explains that movement is “basic nourishment for the brain” and that “when people move, it’s a range of activities that are happening to stimulate the brain, and it’s probably the most effective form of brain training…that is… learning new skills.”
Dr. Ram says it’s to “good to learn a new movement up to about 80% success – that’s enough for the brain to be able to go onto something else.” So the challenge we put to you is, what’s going to be the next new skill you are going to learn?