Work Your Body to Improve Your Brain: Exercise Tips to Boost Your Grey Matter
You know that it’s good to exercise. What you may not know is how beneficial exercising is for the brain, especially certain types of exertion. Improve your body and your brain at the same time. Now, you’ll be working out but doing it smarter.
7 Exercise Tips to Boost Your Gray Matter and Overall Health
#1. Choose an Aerobic Activity
Aerobic activity is a type of exercise, usually focused on raising the heart rate for a cardiovascular challenge. While it is great for losing weight and building stamina, such activity is great for the brain. Aerobics can even help revive damaged brain cells. Some may have issues with joints or muscles, making it difficult to run or engage activities that are rough on the body. However, swimming is a great aerobic activity and poses no impact threat to the body.
#2. Get To It in the Morning
Anytime is a great time for exercise, but if you want to positively influence the brain, designate time in the morning, for physical exertion early on will make you feel great all day and improve your ability to learn and retain new information. So, such a morning routine would be great for new employees, those learning new tasks at work, or those who just want that added edge over coworkers and the competition. Even better, exercising helps us relax and be more objective or better able to handle intricate interpersonal situations.
#3. Unify Aerobics with Coordination
As mentioned, aerobics is a great way to stay fit and stimulate the brain. You can get the brain firing even more so when you combine a cardio activity with one that requires coordination such as dancing, surfing, martial arts, etc. Aerobic activity is exhausting and it’s even more of a challenge on the brain to be physically drained while calling upon fine motor skills required to maintain balance and skill. Don’t be discouraged if you’re a beginner attempting a dance class, etc. It takes a bit of time to learn to endure exertion as well as fire off brain cells required for coordination.
#4. Get to Know Circuit Training
Circuit training combines strength training with cardiovascular activity and usually involves a few workouts with little to no rest between. Like combining coordination efforts, circuit training keeps your body challenged and guessing. So, where a routine workout may gradually lose its ability to “surprise” your muscles, circuit training throws curveballs at the body. Aside from the added mental stimulation, circuit training helps burn more calories and takes less time due to the high intensity. Before engaging in high-intensity workouts, it’s best to get checked by a doctor. Find a walk-in clinic in your area. Head to OurUrgentCare.com to get more info.
#5. Walk and Memorize a List
A number of brain exercises can boost thinking skills. And while ballet and surfing combine exertion with balance, you could do activities that achieve the same result. For instance, you can walk at a fast pace while glancing at a list of information. The walk is healthy for the body, and attempting to memorize a list in a short amount of time helps challenge and build the brain. You don’t have to memorize a list. Choose another brain activity such as forming as many words as you can from scrambled letters or how many synonyms you can think of for the word, “happy.”
#6. Cook After Exercising
Cooking is great for the brain since it stimulates a variety of senses. Cooking requires you to use your hands to cut and mix ingredients; it stimulates your sense of smell and activates certain areas of the brain; and, you’ll need to maintain focus with your eyes to ensure portions are accurate and you’re safely cutting vegetables, etc. Even better, signing up for a cooking class requires more attention and concentration. Exercise in the morning and take a cooking class at night for a great mind-body improvement. Plus, you’ll be better apt to prepare nutritious foods.
#7. Never Stop Learning New Activities
After some time, even very intense exercises get easier due to muscle memory and the brain’s ability to adapt. For instance, a beginner skateboarder is greatly challenged, yet those who have been doing it for a year or longer are less challenged. The related muscles will be even more trained and better suited for the movements and skill needed. Plus, remember to keep the brain and body guessing. The human body has an incredible natural ability to adapt to situations and conditions. Something that is challenging now will get easier. Therefore, you’re always required to find new ways to stay challenged and ‘on your toes.’
About the Author:
Kian Green works as a fitness and wellness coach and encourages everyone to get outdoors and do something physical each and every day for a better body, and a sharper mind. You can read his articles on health, wellness and fitness blogs.