Why do I think better after exercise?

Why do I think better after exercise? hover background

Sep 27


Do you find yourself in a mid-afternoon slump at the office?

Moving may be the last thing on your mind, but it could be exactly what you need to feel more energized. After being stuck inside all day long, a quick afternoon walk may leave you feeling clearheaded.  However, this sensation is not just in your head. A growing body of evidence suggests that we think and learn better when we walk or exercise.

Part of the reason exercise enhances cognition is because of blood flow. Research shows when we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which in turn makes the brain perform better.

Learning & Memory

Another reason why working up a sweat enhances our mental capacity is that the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical for learning and memory, is highly active during exercise. When the neurons rev up, our cognitive function improves. For example, studies in mice have revealed running enhances spatial learning.

Reverse the effects of aging Another study indicates aerobic exercise can actually reverse hippocampal shrinkage, which occurs naturally with age, and instead, boosts memory in older adults.

Improve your test scores Students who exercise on a regular basis prove to do better on tests than their less athletic peers.

The Benefits of Mid-Day Exercise Breaks

The more you move, the more energized you will feel. Exercise also releases endorphins, shown to improve memory, and serotonin, which improves mood and alleviates symptoms of depression, according to the Mayo Clinic. After exercise, your ability to sort out priorities improves, allowing you to block out distractions and better concentrate on the task at hand. When we are productive and efficient it propels us to succeed more.

Additional benefits of exercising in the middle of a work day includes improved interactions between co-workers, increases in work performance and improvement in time management.

So, if you find yourself having a mental blog or trouble focusing, go for a jog or hike. The more you move, the more energized you will feel. Just getting up and moving around for a bit may help you come back with the energy you need to think clearer and come up with new ideas. Daily exercise can pave the way not only for happiness, but also growth in all other areas of your life.



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