Thanks to cliques in high school and media representation of those who are athletically gifted, many people have this stigma that physical activity and brain activity are nearly direct opposites. This could not be further from the truth; in fact, science has proven that working out and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day can help to make your brain stronger and make you more intelligent than ever before. There are many reasons why working out daily will make your brain stronger, and here are just some of the most noticeable.
The way that working out is going to help stimulate your brain is by increasing your body’s overall energy. It’s very simple; the more your body is moving, the more you feel energized and ready to go. And, if you have ever worked through a long, gruelling day, you know that your brain and your thinking skills simply don’t keep up from beginning to end. But, you are always busy, right? That’s fine. Do a lap of your office floor, roam around during your lunch break, find fifteen minutes during work sometime to get up and move, and then find fifteen minutes before or after work and that’s your 30 minutes every day to increase your energy.
The next way that exercise can benefit your brain and make it even smarter is that it can sharpen your focus and help with impulse control. Half of our intelligence is being able to focus on a task, whether that task is studying, trying to solve a problem at work or in your life, or whatever else life throws at you. Scientists suggest that you should workout before a big event that you need to be focused on, such as a presentation or an interview, because your body will be more chemically apt to take it on. The brain thrives on blood, which working out will pump through it. Along with the increased focus, working out will control your impulses too. This occurs when the exercise that you are doing triggers endorphins, allowing your brain to not only function at a high level, but at a level that encourages it to prioritize what is going on in your life.
Mood and Memory
Exercise can increase and enhance your mood as well, which in turn increases your ability to use your memory. When endorphins get released by exercise, scientists have endearingly labeled them “nature’s mood elevator” and that elevation also improves your memory. It was even proven in a study that exercise helped raise people out of depression at the same rate that a leading brand antidepressant did. The memory aspect of exercise in correlation with your brain is really interesting. There was a study completed that asked its participants to memorize long strings of letters and numbers and then they were told to either run, lift weights, or just sit there. Shockingly, the people who ran had the highest and most accurate recollection. So, exercise is going to chemically effect the makeup of what is going on in your brain and increase its strength and abilities.
The final strength of exercising when talking about increasing brain output and brain strength is that exercise allows the brain to become more productive. Productivity is something that is contagious and makes those who are productive strive to be even more productive. One suggestion is to exercise in the middle of the work day, which has been proven to make people more productive in the workplace, but also kinder and more efficient. All of which adds up to a more efficient work day for the workers and the managers, all while keeping that work environment fairly stress free.
The Important Take Away
So what does this mean for you exactly? Does it mean you have to work out for hours and hours to look like your favorite athlete? No, absolutely not. All it really means is that you can change your mindset and your efficiency for a minimal lifestyle change. Your productivity and mental state, as well as your memory will all increase in the best way possible, allowing you to focus more on the parts of your life that matter most. With this new devotion to 30 minutes of increased heart rate nearly every day, you can become the person you have truly been striving to be.