Science now believes exercise is not just good for your heart it can also make you smarter and that means it can make you better at what you do. It works fast too...stimulating your nervous system is one of the best ways to perform at a higher level within a short period of time. Doctor John Tatey, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says, "I like to say that exercise is like taking a little Prozac or Ritalin at just the right moment...it affects mood, vitality, alertness and feelings of well-being."
Medical science has now concluded that as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is enough for "Brain Training" for most adults. More is better if you want to enhance the other health benefits we all know exercise provides. If you're looking for motivation to help you get started perhaps focusing on the mental clarity it provides will get you going. Here are some of the ways exercise can make you smarter...
The "Mind Body Connection" is cutting edge science today. It may have been the ancient Greeks that discovered the the mind body connection, but today we know areobic exercise not only pumps more blood to your muscles it helps your heart send more blood to the rest of your body as well, including your Brain. More blood means more oxygen and more oxygen means healthier brain cells. Better nourished brain cells improve cognition which fuels higher levels of thought.
The endorphins exercise produces also improves your ability to Concentrate, which assists you in blocking out distractions and improves your ability to set priorities. When you are less impulsive it sharpens your focus which enhances your memory. Improved recall makes your thinking more accurate, giving you greater access to your most important skills. "High Levels of Productive Thought" require lots of energy...especially when you need a boost in creativity. Serious creativity is more than a jolt from out of the blue. It's hard work and you have to stay with it which means you need mental and physical endurance. Several studies indicate you are better able to use both sides of your brain when it is well nourished which leads to more balanced thinking.
Sometimes we all need incentives to perform well and unlike the physical benefits exercise provides which build up over time, "The Mental Rewards Are Immediate." Even as little as 10 minutes of vigorous exercise can trigger the release of pleasure chemicals within our nervous system that calm us down, make us think more clearly, perform better and even make us happier. If you exercise today your Brain will reward you today...and if you lack patience just knowing a fast solution is out there can be very comforting.
EXERCISE MAY ENCOURAGE THE USE OF BOTH SIDES OF YOUR BRAIN
Experiments show that most children rank highly creative (right brain) before entering school. Because our educational systems place a higher value on left brain skills such as mathematics, logic and language than they do on drawing or using our imagination, only ten percent of these same children will rank "highly creative" by age 7. By the time we are adults, high creativity remains in only 2 percent of the population. New studies indicate that exercising consistently stimulates the whole brain which may increase your access to more skills. And since most of us aren't as creative as we would like to be an extra "Jolt" from time to time could be very valuable indeed. Tom LeDuc