Or, the case of why you should practice things that you aren’t good at!
The term neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to continue growing and evolving in response to life experiences. And it is directly linked to our physical plasticity.
Plasticity is the capacity to be shaped, molded, or altered. This means that neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt or change over time, by creating new neurons and building new networks.
How do we do this? By practicing things that we suck at.
(cue: video of me playing tennis!)
Scientists used to believe that the brain didn’t grow after childhood but recent research indicates that the brain is “able to continue growing and changing throughout the lifespan, refining its architecture or shifting functions to different regions of the brain.”
The importance of neuroplasticity is huge! If we keep pushing ourselves and challenging our minds and bodies to do things we aren’t good at (or comfortable doing) it can become possible to change dysfunctional patterns of thinking, change unwanted behaviours, develop new mindsets, new skills, new abilities, and yes, new levels of fitness.