We know that exercise improves the muscles on the outside, and also helps the important one on the inside that pumps the blood round. Can it also help that other vital organ, the one at the top that directs operations?
Research has repeatedly shown that exercise increases brainpower, and we don’t just mean crosswords and Sudoku.
What are the effects of physical exercise on the brain?
Getting the heart pumping and the lungs working means that your circulation gets a boost. The brain also benefits from this. So that cardio class isn’t just benefiting your muscles, it is also helping you perform at your best with mental tasks.
A gym, swim or run session is a great way to combat that unwise urge to tell the boss exactly what you think about their latest idea. Initial studies have backed this up with evidence that physical exercise really can reorganise your brain. So stress really can be beaten with exercise.
Stuck with that tricky document? Struggling to reconcile the accounts? The old idea of taking a break is recommended for a reason. As you concentrate on that gym routine or admire the spring flowers on your walk, your brain gets the chance to work on the problem in the background. With luck, you’ll have inspiration when you return.
It’s all about blood flow again, plus the improved sleep which goes with pleasant physical tiredness. A difficult or fiddly task is far easier to tackle if you are rested. Strong and toned muscles also keep you comfortable if the job involves using those fine motor skills.
Good concentration levels also keep us safe, as anyone who drives will know. So if you are regularly doing long stints behind the wheel, make sure you get time away from it. This isn’t just to keep you fitter – it may actually keep you and everyone else safer too.
So treat that brain with the care it deserves. Feed it properly and take it to the gym for some exercise. Look after your brain so that it can look after you!
I just love the distraction of exercise, whether indoors or outdoors. There's nothing like concentrating on an exercise routine or new class to take your mind off things.
Nothing clears my head better than a run, whether it's outdoors or on a treadmill. It's the only exercise where I don't have to concentrate on a anything so my brain is free to wander and imagine. Plus the endorphin rush at the end is hard to beat with any other exercise.
I definitely feel mentally better if I exercise. I feel like I am in charge of my life and threfore can make confident decisions more easily.Part of it is the routine and the feeling of moving forwards to positive things.