Hey, you awake? Feeling hazy? Misplacing your keys? Does everyone seem like they’re speaking a strange, alien tongue? You need to sharpen that mind! If you want to be able to think on your feet, get good quality rest when you’re off them. Exercise during the day brings better sleep – and better sleep helps keep your brain functioning at its optimal level.
“Error: Not Enough Working Memory.” Your brain has a lot in common with your computer. They both require working memory to multi-task and keep on humming. But how often do you feel like your brain is “crashing”? If you’re having trouble focusing, exercise can help. Physical exercise activates neurons in the brain that generate, receive and interpret rapid-fire messages from the nervous system. All this activity up inside your head has a direct effect on how your body works. All those little imagined lightning bolts shooting around your brain are helping to coordinate your muscle contractions, for organ function, your balance, vision…and keeping all the various departments working in harmony with each other. Studies have shown that physical exercise feeds back into our brain, helping keep the whole communications system in tip-top shape.
Mood enhancers in your muscles. When you tighten your muscles during exercise, you’re triggering the release of “happy chemicals” in the brain. Not only do these chemicals act as nature’s anti-depressant, but they reduce anxiety, too. So think of your muscles as big squeeze bottles of happy juice and get moving!
Your brain works when you do. Researchers have examined what happens to our memory when we stop exercising suddenly. For instance, let’s say you play tennis regularly – then, you get sucked into a big project at work that keeps you late in the office for three weeks, not a tennis ball in sight. After just one week, the memory benefits of exercise begin to decline. After 10 weeks, you’ve essentially got the brain of someone who’s never picked up a racket.
To be at your best, both mind and body, move. Even some gentle stretching is better than nothing. Love your body, love your brain!
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