[Video] How the Kettlebell Can Train Your Brain
Just to demonstrate how truly incredible the kettlebell is for your fitness and health, let’s take a look at how this kind of training can also work wonders for another part of your anatomy – your brain.
Because there’s another problem with spending all day sitting in an office: it’s terrible for your grey matter.
The brain you see, loves movement and it loves learning. The vast majority of brain regions are dedicated to some aspect of our bodies – whether they help us more or interpret data from our senses. The very purpose of our brain’s capacity for learning is to help us move more efficiently through our environments.
When you’re constantly moving, exercising and challenging yourself, you will be helping your brain to grow. Each time you attempt a new movement, you will first visualize it. You then attempt to carry out the movement and your brain becomes highly tuned to the feedback it gets from your senses. This means not only sight but also proprioception and touch.
Using this information, we then are able to tell if the movement was successful or not. If it was, the brain releases reward hormones and neurochemicals like serotonin. These, along with increases in dopamine and BDNP (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) enhance brain plasticity and help us to become better at learning, more focused and more.
This causes the neural pathway that led to the correct movement to be reinforced and strengthened via a process called myelination. This means that the next time we attempt the same movement, it will now be easier. Each time we practice the same movement, the same pathways get stronger and stronger and we become better and better at it.
The brain absolutely loves this process and the more it engages in it, the more plastic and adaptive it becomes – the better we are at learning other things, the more energetic we feel and the more awake.
Exercise in general is fantastic for the brain. Exercise encourages blood flow, it improves the energy efficiency of our cells and it helps to reduce stress and restore white matter. Exercise improves our memory, it combats depression and it generally helps us to perform and feel much better.
But it’s only challenging exercise that really gives our brain that incentive to grow. It’s complex movement that helps it to become more agile and better at learning and that really combats things like age related decline. If you keep challenging yourself with new movements, then you can keep your brain constantly growing and developing – constantly ready to take on any new challenge.
Just like your body can get set in its ways and become stiff from lack of use, so too can the brain. And in both scenarios, functional training is actually the very best treatment. When you practice these moves you are developing incredibly coordinated movements against resistance and you are drastically enhancing your performance. This is the true power of the kettlebell and of the functional movement movement in general.
- Why Functional Strength and Mobility Are So Important
- Getting Started With the Kettlebell
- Unique Kettlebell Exercises for Developing True Functional Strength
- How the Kettlebell Can Train Your Brain
- Eating Right While Training With Kettlebells
- Three Kettlebell Programs for Different Goals