4 Discoveries to Build Your Best Brain

Want to improve your memory, make better decisions and feel happier?

You can do it by building your best brain. It’s about how to get it to optimally function. How to build your super human brain…

It’s easier than you think. I promise that at least one of these four discoveries will be one you can use over the next week. Choose one now or start all four.

Let’s begin.

Get Moving – Choice #1

Activity affects the mind in more ways than we once knew.

From:  The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer

Recent studies credibly have established that exercise stimulates the creation of new brain cells, pumps up existing ones, improves mood, blunts aging-related memory loss, and sharpens decision making.

Exercise is good for the brain. What’s the best type for your best brain?

They’re all good. Yet for the best brain, Gump’s method rules.

Run Forrest Run. (And if you haven’t seen this film – fun for the family, click here.)

From: Gretchen Reynolds

In one of the few experiments to directly compare the effects of different types of regimens on mental functioning, twenty-one students at the University of Illinois were asked to memorize a string of letters and then pick them out from a list flashed at them. Then they were asked to do one of three things for thirty minutes, sit quietly, run on a treadmill, or lift weights – before performing the letter test again.

After an additional thirty minute cool down, they were tested once more.

On subsequent days, the students returned to try the other two options. They were noticeably quicker and more accurate on the retest after they ran compared with the other two options, and they continued to perform better when they tested after the cool down.

Gump was on to something. Running fires the brain to wire in healthy ways.

Not a runner?  No problem. Try other types of cardio exercise. From old school jumping jacks to modern day elliptical machines to a brisk walk around the neighborhood. All forms of cardio build your best brain.


Exercise increases the flow of blood to the part of brain connected with learning and memory by thirty percent. Yup, a whopping 30%!

From: Spark

In his study, Small put a group of volunteers on a three-month exercise regimen and then took pictures of their brains. By manipulating a standard MRI machine’s processing – essentially zooming in and cocking the shutter open – he captured images of the newly formed capillaries required for nascent neurons to survive. What he saw was that the capillary volume in the memory area of the hippocampus increased by 30 percent, a truly remarkable change.

Want more evidence? Try four letters. B-D-N-F.

BDNF stands for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. It’s hard to talk about the brain without some crazy science, but we’ll keep it simple with four letters.

BDNF is a brain protein that pumps out significantly during and after exercise. Its job supports your brain’s ability to remember better.

From:  The First 20 Minutes; Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter and Live Longer

[BDNF is] “known to help neurons (brain cells) develop and thrive. It also allows the brain to consolidate short-term memories into long-term ones.

Cardio helps your memory. Remember that!

(To learn how to master your exercise genetics to increase your endurance, click here).

And remember this. Sometimes for your best brain, it’s worth the weight.

Lift Weights – Choice #2

Cardio may increase BDNF to build your best memory, but what about for better decision making?

Answer: Weight train, twice a week.

From: Gretchen Reynolds

A group of women age 65 or older completed twelve months of light-duty weight training twice a week. They did not do any endurance training, such as walking. At the end of the year, they performed significantly better on tests of mental processing ability than a control group of women. Functional MRI scans of both groups showed that portions of the brain that control decision making and other types of thinking were more active in weight trainers.

It’s a good decision to lift weights. You don’t have to go heavy and any age can benefit.

(To master your exercise genetics for muscle tone and strength, click here).

It’s also a good decision to build your best brain with nature’s support.

Merge with Nature – Choice #3

Your best brain is a happy one and it’s easy with nature. Whether you’re getting physical with vigorous outdoor activities or just taking it easy, nature fuels a happy brain.

From: Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

Responses in the Mappiness study showed that people were happier pursuing both vigorous (sports, running, exercise, walking, hiking) and lower-energy (bird-watching, gardening, “nature-watching”) activities outside than they were indoor or urban activities.

And there’s a bonus if you’re near water!

From: Wallace J. Nichols

the highest increase in happiness in an outdoor environment occurred when people were near water.

Being near, in, or on water supports a happier brain.

But what if you’re not a swimmer, don’t really like cardio, weight lifting or getting active in nature? Or you just don’t have much time?

Is there a short-cut to building your best brain? Perhaps an easier way?

There is!

Picture This  – Choice #4

If you can’t get out in nature, bring it to you. Put a nature picture in your office or somewhere in your home where you’ll see it.

Here’s why.

From: Neuroreport

A study done in California using fMRI showed that especially pleasant nature views activated part of the reward system in the brain – an area rich in opioid receptors that triggers feelings of wellness.

And for more brain benefits, add water.

From: Blue Mind

In  2010 researchers at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom asked forty adults to rate over one hundred pictures of different natural and urban environments. Respondents gave higher ratings for positive mood, preference, and perceived restorativeness in ANY picture containing water, whether it was in a natural landscape or an urban setting, as opposed to those photos without water.

In addition to the feelings of wellness and positive moods, nature pictures foster another brain benefit – empathy.

From: Korean Journal of Radiology

the anterior cingulate and insula – areas of the brain associated with empathy – become more active when subjects viewed nature scenes.

Why is empathy essential?

It supports your best brain with improved relationships.

Less tension + deeper relationships = happier you.

From: Empathy

Empathy can also deepen our friendships and help create new ones – especially useful in a world where one in four people suffer from loneliness.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in some cases, as we discovered, those with water build our happiest brains!

Building your best brain in now easy and one step away, thanks to new science discoveries.  Begin today with a choice that works for you!


  1. Get Moving – Cardiovascular exercise, such as running or doing jumping jacks, increases blood flow to the brain to support improved learning and BDNF, a brain protein that supports better memory.
  2. Lift Weights – Weight training twice a week supports better decision making.
  3. Merge with Nature – Activities outside boost happiness. Being near water raises happiness levels even more.
  4. Picture This – Images of natural landscapes trigger feelings of wellness and empathy.

Thank you for reading!


Related Articles:

How to Derail Anxiety & Fear: Strategies Backed By Evidence

How to Tap the Fountain of Youth: 8 Evidence-Based Secrets

Want more evidence-based articles for a healthier & happier you?

Join 1,500+ Subscribers Today 

CATEGORY: Well-being

How to Get Rid of Aches and Pains to Improve Everyday Performance

Nobody likes aches and pains. The good news is there’s a safe and effective method to get rid of aches and pains, whether they come from too much sitting, exercising, a nagging injury or enjoying the weekend gardening. I’ve been successfully using a specific method from my corrective exercise training for over a decade with […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Fitness , Well-being

4 Good Ways to Break Bad Habits

Habits run our lives. For better or worse, researchers say 40% of what we do is a habit. From: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business: One paper published by a Duke University researcher found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Nutrition , Well-being

How to Stay on Track with Your New Year’s Resolution

With each new year, we get a fresh start. A chance to get more active, shed a few pounds or pursue something we’ve always wanted. If more exercise is your resolution, persistence is your critical and key partner. Since many folks “join the gym” for the first month, “fall away” in the second month, and […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Fitness , Motivation , Nutrition , Well-being

How to Improve Your Sleep Quality With Exercise Timing

As we’ve all heard, timing is everything. And that’s true for exercise and sleep quality. Without a doubt, exercise can help you sleep better. Determining the when to exercise for improving sleep quality is a different story. In today’s busy lifestyles, knowing the when to exercise can make all the difference between having a refreshing […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Fitness , Well-being

How to Derail Anxiety & Fear: Strategies Backed By Evidence

Nerves. They can feed irrational decisions, rob us of sleep, destroy on-demand performance or limit desired activities. Nerves get to everyone. We all feel it. I’ve felt it.  So, in my mission to help people with evidence based info, I thought I would learn why anxiety happens and if there’s anything we can do about […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Anxiety , Well-being

How to Tap the Fountain of Youth: 8 Evidence-Based Secrets

The “Fountain of Youth” may just be a tale, but the science behind preserving youthfulness and living longer is real. In the search for a “fountain of youth,” researchers found some good stuff. Here’s eight. 1. Pursue Your Dreams Haven’t found your dream job or soul mate? Doesn’t matter. What does matter? Striving. Striving helps […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Well-being

5 Steps of Successful People – Backed By Decades of Research

What’s it take to be successful? Harvard-trained scientist, Dr. Stephen Krause (aka Dr. K), says it takes five steps. All scientifically valid. In short series of posts, we’ll journey through the five steps to success. But first… A Brief 3-Part Intro 1. Success Defined 2. Success is Slippery 3. What Holds People Back 1. Success […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Success , Well-being

Step 1 of 5 to Success – How to Create Your Vision

Successful people know where they’re going. They have a vision, a dream, like Martin Luther King, Jr. From: Psychological Foundations of Success Successful people envision their futures and specify the outcomes they desire so that they can channel their effort toward those ends. No surprise there. At the same time, envisioning a future is not […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Success , Well-being

Step 2 of 5 to Success – How to Create Your Strategy

Now that you’ve got your vision, it’s time to create your strategy. Harvard research suggests that true success only comes from a combination of vision and strategy. Having a strategy is about creating goals. Here in Step 2, you’re going to learn the best way to set goals. That’s good news because beyond achievement, goals bring […]

Read the full article

CATEGORY: Success , Well-being