Are you looking for another reason to exercise? Exercise can improve your life by increasing creativity, focus and intelligence.
Many people look at exercise as a requirement. They know they are supposed to exercise, but they don’t necessarily enjoy it. As a result, many dieters find that they are forcing themselves to exercise. On the other hand, often people who aren’t trying to lose weight skip exercising altogether. As you know, everyone should exercise because there are countless health benefits to exercising, which include fighting diseases like stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.
However, it is important to realize that exercise can improve your life in ways that are not necessarily even fitness related. Exercise can allow you to find solutions, boost creativity and improve your focus.
A recent study at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan showed that the brainpower of mice improves when they are allowed to exercise. When mice are forced to exercise more than they normally would, the mice’s thinking power improves yet further. Scientists noted major developments in the brain when the mice were pushed beyond their natural exercise inclinations.
So does the brainpower improve because of increased blood flow to the brain? Interestingly, a recent study out of Columbia University and the Salk Institute showed that exercise’s improvements in focus and thinking result from more than just blood flow. Scott Small and Fred Gage conducted this experiment. They found that during exercise, muscles contract and chemicals and proteins are released. One protein called IGF-1 releases chemicals in the brain that stimulate neurons to branch out in new directions. The end result is new connections between our brain cells. These new connections are responsible for making us smarter!
As you boost your focus and mental ability, you also boost your creativity when you exercise. Keith Sawyer, PhD the author of the book Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration stated “Physical activity gets your mind into the bodily experience, so that subconscious connections can pop up.” Exercise also releases cortisol from your body. If there is too much cortisol in your system caused by stress, your ability to be creative shuts down.
Make sure that you do not force too much exercise on yourself. After all, overtraining can lead to injuries and can be counterproductive to improving your life. Exercise for at least 30 minutes at a time. If you are looking to find creative ideas, consider exercising alone as an exercise companion may distract you. Bring a small notepad and jot down ideas.
Once you understand these benefits of exercising, you will be more likely to want to integrate exercise in your daily routine. If you are having difficulty focusing or being creative, you will quickly find that exercise can be the solution to your problems.
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