The brain is an amazing organ that literally runs the machine of our body. Diet, exercise and health comprise this blog’s focus and the more you know about the brain, the better chance you will have to maintain your weight, exercise your body and live a longer and healthier life.
The human brain weighs about 3 pounds and makes up only about two to three percent of our body’s entire weight. Yet, it accounts for up to 25 percent of the calories we burn in a 24 hour day. Because the brain is so crucial to the body’s survival, it receives a disproportionate amount of blood, too. The brain receives 15 to 20 percent of the body’s entire blood supply, and 25 percent of its oxygen supply. The body will deprive other parts of the body of blood to ensure that the brain has what it needs.
At only three pounds it burns as much as 25% of our calories in a day.
How is that? Well, the brain is always working in running the body. The average 160 lb man needs around 2100 calories a day to function. Clearly, much of this brain work occurs on an unconscious level. The brain functions on two levels. Its lower, unconscious functions include breathing, walking and sleeping. The higher, conscious, functions include loving, learning and making decisions.
According to Wikipedia “The brain monitors and regulates the body’s actions and reactions. It continuously receives sensory information, and rapidly analyzes these data and then responds, controlling bodily actions and functions. The brain stem controls breathing, heart rate, and other autonomic processes that are independent of conscious brain functions. The neocortex is the center of higher-order thinking, learning, and memory. The cerebellum is responsible for the body’s balance, posture, and the coordination of movement.”
Most people have some feeling for the conscious functions of the brain. Each hemisphere controls different functions. Left brain functions include logic, verbal, detail, science, etc. Right brain functions with pictures, stories, observation, music, patterns, etc.
The left and right side of the brain and their functions.
Usually one side dominates in a personality. Do you know which dominates for you? The You Tube link works for a cool test.
There is also an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch app for that you can read about here with a spinning lady in which you decide if she is spinning right or left.
The brain is one amazing organ. Don’t you think?
You can take a 16 segment visual interactive tour of the brain here offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.
If you enjoyed reading about the brain check out the following blog items: How to Keep Your Mind Sharp, How Does Exercise Benefit the Brain?, Sleep and the Brain, Brain Fitness, The Power and Benefits of Relaxation, The Brain is an Oxygen Burner, Exercise, Aging and the Brain and How to Use Your Brain for Weight Control. I have a Page: Important Facts About Your Brain – And Exercise.