“Fitness and health start with the brain,” says Kristen Willeumier, PhD, a Total Woman Gym + Spa Advisory Board Member and the Director of Research at The Amen Clinics (pictured right). “If women take the time to nurture their brains daily, then they will be making an investment in their overall health.”
Dr. Willeumier, who has helped hundreds of women reenergize by losing weight, getting fit and optimizing brain function, discussed the relationship between women’s brains and reaching health, fitness and weight-loss goals in her recent Total Woman Gym + Spa seminar entitled “The Power of the Female Brain.”
She offers the following five tips from the seminar to help women everywhere train the brain for improved health, fitness, weight loss and happiness.
5 Women’s Brain Health Tips
1. Know your Brain
“The female brain is significantly more active than the male brain,” Dr. Willeumier says. “Women tend to be more empathetic, collaborative and nurturing than males; but, this elevated brain activity can make some females more prone to psychiatric issues such as anxiety and depression”—which, of course affect fitness and health. Dr. Willeumier says knowledge is power. She uses a brain health audit along with a brain typing assessment (available at BrainFitLife.com) to find imbalances and determine brain-type targeted therapies and exercise regimens for accelerated weight-loss success.
2. Feed the Brain
“What you eat is utilized by the brain and body to help maintain the integrity of your cellular membranes and to generate hormones, maintain cellular structure, build muscle and provide cellular energy,” Dr. Willeumier says. A few brain diet tips from her seminar include: avoiding excess sugar, gluten and dairy, which can cause a toxic, inflammatory environment; consuming plenty of brain healthy fats like Omega 3s, flaxseed oil and coconut oil to stave off depression and anxiety; and taking brain directed multivitamins and probiotics.
3. Hydrate the Brain
Dr. Willeumier says that the body is comprised of 50-70% water and it requires that you consume approximately half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. “I cannot stress enough the importance of drinking clean water daily,” she says. “Not only will it help flush the toxins out of your cells and help your kidneys to function properly, but it will also aid in weight-loss.”
4. Rest the Brain
“One of the best things you can do for your brain is to keep it in a relaxed state,” says Dr. Willeumier. She explains that the demands of a busy, stressful life create excess cortisol in the system. “I encourage my patients to do daily meditation and get weekly massage and spa treatments to maintain optimal brain and body health.”
5. Train the Brain
“If you only do activities that are routine to you, then you are not establishing new neural connections,” Dr. Willeumier says. Mental challenges such as crossword puzzles, as well as physical exercises that involve balance and coordination—like juggling, tennis, Ping-Pong and tai-chi—help build brain-fitness. Additionally, daily physical exercise routines such as Total Woman’s yoga, Pilates, dance and cycling classes help “improve blood flow to the brain, oxygenate the brain, and aid in the development of new neural connections.”