Dr. Wendy Suzuki runs an interactive research lab in NYC, is regularly interviewed in the media, lectures nationally, and serves as reviewer for neuroscience journals. She is also the author of Healthy Brain Happy Life. In her book, Dr. Suzuki details how her skills as a scientist helped her to improve her own life. She used neuroscience to change her life, which also changed the way she practiced science.
Dr. Suzuki explains that exercise is a critical component of being a healthy human. We know about the positive physical effects of exercise, but it also has a positive effect on the brain.
Engaging in exercise can improve mood function. After a good workout, you may notice being in a better mood. This is due to an increase in the neurotransmitters that usually decrease during a depression. Exercise also leads to an increased attention span. It has showed improved function with acute or long-term exercise. And perhaps most importantly, exercise stimulates the birth of new brain cells that are critical for long-term memory.
An interesting thought to consider is whether movement itself has any impact on one’s memory. One technique is the idea of a memory palace, where you visualize a space you’re familiar with and mentally walk through it while placing different items in different rooms that you need to remember. This works especially well with lists of items that should be remembered in order.
To improve your brain health through exercise, Dr. Suzuki recommends following these three tips:
- Engage in a regular form of exercise you enjoy. This will put you in a great mood and improve your memory.
- Find a regular meditative activity. This will cause positive brain changes and decrease your stress.
- Engage in altruism as a great way to increase dopamine in your brain.
While exercise won’t fully cure any memory degradation over time, it can help to delay this by strengthening the brain. To contact Dr. Wendy Suzuki or learn more about Healthy Brain Happy Life, visit www.wendysuzuki.com.