Is the Brain a Muscle or an Organ?

  (photo credit: Reckonsoft)
(photo credit: Reckonsoft)

Everything you need to know to have it in shape at all times. 

You will hear from many that the brain resembles a muscle, requiring "training" to be in shape all the time, to function properly and to perform as expected for carrying out your daily commitments (work, learning, etc.).

Nevertheless, what we call a brain’s "exercise" has absolutely nothing to do with the exercise of the body, as we know it in the gym.

The brain is not a muscle, so its training requires a completely different process like memory exercises and a boost from natural supplements and ingredients.

However, if the brain is not a muscle, then what is it?

How can we keep our brains in perfect shape even in old age?

Therefore, let's learn some very basic things about this very important organ of our body.

The brain – What is it? Is it a muscle or an Organ?

As already mentioned, the brain is not a muscle, it is an organ, a very important organ not containing real muscles (except for the muscle tissue in the middle layer of the arteries passing through it to carry the required blood).

It is one of the most complex organs of the human body, "supporting" many key functions of the body, of great importance for its survival.

The brain controls almost every function of the body and almost all organs as well as most bodily functions.

It is a special organ containing a variety of cells, nerve fibres, arteries and arteries.

What many do not know is that the brain also contains fat.

It is in fact the fattest organ of our body, as it contains almost 60% fat.

The Brain is an Organ – But How it works

The human brain is - as mentioned earlier - a very complex organ.

At birth it weighs only about half a kilo (0.5), while as a person grows older the brain develops, reaching about one and a half kilos (1.5) until adulthood.

Every time you do something - with anything - the brain is activated and "trained".

Whether you do homework, work, exercise, play, cook or sweep at home, the brain constantly gives "instructions" to your body on what to do.

Every day it is called to perform thousands of functions, extremely critical for the functionality of your body in daily life.

Nevertheless, the brain, as part of the rest of the body, also ages with age.

In other words, its function gradually decreases, leading the rest of your body to malfunction or have problematic functions.

Behind every thought, every emotion, every desire and every mental reaction has always hidden the brain.

Not only that.

The brain also determines:

  • body movement
  • the memory capacity
  • the learning ability
  • the thinking process
  • emotions
  • the senses
  • surely all the vital (organic) functions of the body

However, the brain is not a muscle and does not function like a muscle, despite the fact that all our experts recommend its systematic training (even from a very young age).

It is a one and a half (1.5) kilo organ consisting of soft tissue and gray matter (containing cells and neurons and contributes to the efficient ability of the brain to send "messages" to the rest of the body in the form of electrical and chemical signals).

In any case, the heart continues to beat, the lungs continue to "breathe", the muscles move the body, etc.

The two (2) parts of the brain - right and left hemisphere - work differently. Thus, the right hemisphere is more concerned with cognitive functions/logic/speech, while the left hemisphere is more concerned with emotions/feelings.

Anatomy and Physiology of the Brain

Anatomy of the Brain

The brain consists of nerve cells (the neurons) and supporting cells (the neuroglia).

It also consists of gray and white matter.

The gray matter is contained in the cell bodies of the nerves found in the cerebral cortex, the brain nuclei, and the basal ganglia.

The basic parts of the brain are the following:

  • the frontal lobe
  • the parietal lobe
  • the temporal lobe
  • the occipital lobe

The cerebellum is responsible for coordinating all functions, so there is balance in the movements of the same side of the body.

It is located at the back of the occipital lobe.

The brain stem is that part of the brain connecting to the spinal cord and controlling all the involuntary functions of the body, that is, the function of the heart, lungs, vital organs in general, are controlled by the brain stem and the cerebellum, so all vital functions are performed properly.

Brain Physiology

The whole body supports its function on this organ called the brain.

The brain - which is an organ and not a muscle - takes on the role of "control and coordination center" of all body functions, involuntary and voluntary.

Thus, it manages both sensory stimuli and motor stimuli.

What are the Gray Essence and the White Essence of the Brain?

The gray matter is in the darkest/outer part of the brain and has a completely different meaning from the white matter in the lighter/inner part of the brain.

Gray matter is essentially a type of neural tissue associated with functions such as the intellect, mainly collecting information from the body's sensory organs and from the various cells of the gray matter and then launching it in the right direction.

Therefore, as it is understood, the gray matter determines the speed of communication and intelligence.

White matter, on the other hand, is something completely different.

It is another type of nerve tissue; however, in this case it affects the learning ability of the individual.

Every brain dysfunction has to do with the white matter, located on the outside of the gray matter (in the spinal cord), as well as in the brain (under the cortex of its two (2) hemispheres).

While gray matter appears to stop growing after a person reaches adulthood, white matter (according to recent scientific research) continues to grow until the fifth (5th) decade of life.

This proves that "training" the brain (even if it is not a muscle, but an organ) can bring significant benefits to the individual, as they grow older.

Brain – Why does it need “Exercise” if it is not a Muscle?

We have seen that white matter continues to grow until about fifty (50) years of age, in contrast to the gray matter that begins to decline as early as twenty (20) years of age (shortly after adulthood).

Therefore, as we grow older - and our whole body ages, and with it the brain - the need for proper "nutrition" and "exercise" of the brain to remain healthy, prosperous and efficient is even more imperative.

With the white matter evolving and growing up to the age of fifty (50), the "exercise" of the brain with new stimuli, new cognitive skills and new cognitive fields, can keep your brain "new" and mainly functional.

There are scientific studies showing that some of the cognitive functions/abilities of man begin their ageing from the age of thirty (30) to fourty (40) years.

Specifically, it is estimated that the brain shrinkage taking place is of the order of five per cent (5%) every ten (10) years after thirty (30) to fourty (40) years of life.

Therefore, even if the brain is not a muscle and does not function like a muscle, it needs care; it needs proper "food" and regular "exercise".

How can I "Exercise" my Brain?

The exercise of the brain is not the same as that of the body, although according to experts it has some relation.

Below we see how you can keep your brain young and functional until old age.

1. Gymnastics

According to scientific research, body gymnastics can keep the brain healthy over the years and enhance its memory capacity.

Specifically, aerobic exercise or high-intensity exercise (HIIT) is the most suitable if you want to keep not only your body young, but also your mind.

In a state of intense physical activity, our body produces a substance called "brain neurotrophic factor" (BDNF) preventing the aging of the brain and the impending deterioration of its cognitive functions.

This means it prevents the occurrence of neurodegenerative diseases of the brain, as well as the wear and tear associated with natural aging.

With exercise, the brain stays awake, becomes more "elastic" (i.e. maintains its neuroplasticity allowing it to "learn" new things) and bleeds better.

2. Reading

Reading is another great exercise for the brain.

It offers new information and helps to relax and fight stress.

In addition, research has shown that reading a book in the morning can help in the optimal organization of thinking, in the better organization of daily obligations and in setting priorities in the daily life of the individual.

3. Diet

Proper nutrition is clearly another very important way to keep your brain healthy and energetic at any age.

Some of the foods that stimulate brain function and promote thinking are:

  • Water
  • fatty fish
  • avocado
  • green leafy vegetables
  • starchy foods
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • olive oil
  • berries of the forest
  • cocoa and health chocolate
  • coffee
  • green tea
  • coconut
  • whole grains
  • pomegranate

4. Nootropic Supplements

With special natural nootropic supplements, you can provide your brain with all the valuable nutrients needed in its daily life to function one hundred percent (100%).

Especially as we grow older and our brain "ages", the use of such supplements is the best way to ensure the health of your brain and prevent the occurrence of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Epilogue

Although the brain is not a muscle, it requires the same attention and care as the rest of your body.

Proper nutrition and exercise from an early age (i.e. from a young age) ultimately determine its health, as we grow older.

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