Most of us know that physical health can lead to brain health, but what we are only now discovering is how brain health can also drive physical health, suggesting that our brains may be ground zero for the next fitness craze.
If you’re like me, you have seen quite a number of fitness trends come and go over the years. Jazzercize, Tae Bo, Spinning, Zumba, CrossFit, Peloton, and so many more have bombarded our media with ads and consumed our collective fitness-desiring consciousness. Each of these fads has promised to help us develop stronger bodies while, at the same time, suggesting that this will help lead to better mental strength as well.
The good news is that they are not at all wrong. Multiple scientific studies have shown conclusively that physical activity can have a huge, positive influence on one’s mental and cognitive health, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and contributing to better sleep, focus, and cognitive function.
What is even more compelling is that this does not seem to be a simple one-way street. Emerging evidence is showing that not only can physical health boost mental health, but that our brains can also influence and boost our physical functioning.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, as our brains are central to who we are and how we function. What is new, however, is the focus that researchers, clinicians, and others are placing on a brain-first health regimen. If the brain is the central controller, what happens when we focus on boosting our cognitive function or improving sleep?
Building on this idea, we have seen an explosion in meditation and anxiety focused brain-health apps over the past few years, including Headspace, Calm, Apple’s own Breathe, and others. While the approach varies from one to the other, at the core, they all focus on a brain-first approach to health and wellness.
As anyone who does The New York Times Crossword puzzle daily knows, word games and similar puzzles are a great way to keep one’s mind sharp. Recent research has underscored this fact, showing that these types of activities, such as the current mega-fad, Wordle (also now owned by the NYT) can improve cognitive function, focus, and positive thinking.
We have also seen how other approaches, such as minimalism—including reducing clutter, minimizing distractions, and eating a healthier, whole-food, plant-based diet—can also lead to improvements in overall health and well-ness. This further supports the brain-body connection and the need to focus on the whole person, not just their physical body, while we are looking to achieve optimal health.
All of this leads to what we at BRIGHT have known all along: brains are the next great frontier for health and wellness. This is why we fast-tracked the emerging scientific research to launch our BEACON40 light systems. We are excited to see what BEACON40 and other products, apps, and approaches in this space can do to further improve our collective brain and body health and are proud to be at the cutting edge of delivering better health and wellness to you today.