Unlike other parts of our bodies, our brains are encased in the hard shell of our skulls – so we can neither touch them nor see them directly. However, our brains are made up of many areas that control different parts of our bodies, and different areas of our brains interact very closely with each other. Consequently, by moving our bodies and stimulating our senses, we can activate and integrate wide areas of our brains.
We can stimulate our brains through our bodies. All information we receive through our five senses, all actions accompanied by movement of bones and muscles, and all the foods we consume daily affect our brains. Appropriate exercise increases the flow of oxygen and production of growth factors, contributing to the growth of new brain cells. It also increases the production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which play an important role in effective cognitive functioning.
Most of us have fixed patterns of behavior and exercise. That is why we end up habitually using certain parts of our bodies, without even realizing it. Typically, our brains access only those parts associated with our customary behaviors. If we use muscles we rarely use, and move our bodies in directions in we seldom move them, idle brain areas awaken and are activated. Yoga, Asian martial arts, dancing, etc. all include many novel bodily movements that are very good for stimulating the brain.
We cannot produce good results, no matter how excellent our designs and plans, if our bodies fail to support us with sufficient strength and energy to carry them out. Fortune and opportunity are available to everyone. Some people are able to seize those opportunities; some are not.
Work to develop a body full of vitality. Make it so that your body can support the goals you set for yourself. Keeping in good shape cannot be done by thought alone. It requires constant training of muscles, bones, and heart. Staying in shape not only promotes good health, but it is also an effective way to develop self-control, responsibility, willpower, and integrity.
In the process of improving your physical condition, you can develop the power to look at yourself more closely and deeply, and at the same time to observe yourself objectively. This can lead to new discoveries of your true nature. It can also develop in you a new perspective that broadens your field of vision with respect to life’s possibilities and what you really want to choose.