After another gruelling workout yesterday, I came across another reference to this Newsweek story back in March that outlined new research supporting the notion that exercise impact was not just physical, but also helped mentally – especially in the case of making us more cognitively aware, smarter and sharper.
Perhaps that euphoria and sense of clarity you get from a good workout doesn't just come from the increased production of seratonin that follows exercise, but is also the result of higher brain function – and what's even better, the impact seems to last.
A first caution on these findings is that the test was performed on kids – specifically 259 third and fifth graders – so whether the results can be extrapolated to apply to seniors (for example) remains to be seen.
In addition – it's not entirely clear the methodology or other factors taken into account until the study is released fully later this year.
Here are some other interesting findings on this topic from the last year or two —
- Other studies have demonstrated that new nerve cell growth can be stimulated in the brain with aerobic excercise
- There is support for re-energizing underperforming brain cells with rigorous exercise
- Tests have been done on other age groups suggesting that the link between excercise and brain function holds even at older ages which is positive in treating brain diseases such as alzheimer's and dimentia
This is an exciting time as research begins to delve deeper into the relationship finding that not only blood and oxygen to the brain helps with brain function when you exercise, but also that specific chemicals and proteins may be produced when you workout that are beneficial to your brain's functioning.
So, the next time you need motivation to stick with your workout or to start exercising, know that not only will it make you look great, gain more energy, become stronger and more self-confident – but it will also make you smarter and better able to cope with today's stressful environment.
Now, back to my workout!