Brain Power Through Exercise

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Can you boost brain power with exercise? Several relevant studies were reported on at the annual Meeting Of The Society Of Psychophysiological Research in Montreal recently. The findings showed both immediate benefits from exercise, as well as long-term effects. Exercise seems to help your brain work more efficiently and actually make you smarter.

In one study, the thinking ability of subjects was tested. After the tests, they ran on a treadmill for thirty minutes. Then when their hearts returned to normal resting levels they took the follow-up tests. For all tests the subjects were connected to an elctroencephalogram (EEG), in order to track their brainwaves.

The first thing researchers noted was that exercising had sped up the speed of their decision-making. It was a significant difference. Upon scoring the tests, it was also found that the subjects answered more accurately after the exercise than before.

The study participants were between 18 and 24 years old, but researchers think the findings will hold true for other age groups as well. Another study showed that just ten minutes of moderate exercise each day can improve mood and reduce fatigue. Brainpower specifically wasn't tested in that study, but it seems likely that less fatigue means better brain power.

Best Exercise For Brain Power?

Most research has focused more on the duration of exercise more than on the specific type. Aerobic exercise seems to be the common element in the studies that have shown improvements in brainpower, however. It seems likely that running, bicycling, swimming, dancing and any other aerobic exercises will have the same effect.

Ten minutes of exercise is apparently enough to have effects on the brain. It's not clear how much more benefit there may be with longer exercise sessions. Interestingly, while most scientists probably expected to find brain power benefits from long-term exercise programs, the study using treadmills showed an immediate effect as well. In other words, get up and run around, and you can be smarter ten minutes from now.

Many people find that walking is one of the best ways to boost brain power. Apart from the aerobic benefits that are now being explained by recent studies, there seems to be something more. Perhaps it has something to do with the rythmic and relaxing nature of the exercise, but many people report that their clearest and most creative thinking happens when walking.

The benefits of exercise include better sleep, a healthier immune system, weight control, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Now you can add better brain power to that list. Why not take a walk today?

Steve Gillman has been studying brainpower enhancement, creative problem solving, and related topics for years. Learn more, and subscribe to his free Mind Power Course, at:

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