Train your body and your brain
One of my clients was telling me how much work she had to get through that day. She wondered why she had chosen to spend one hour of her precious time at the park doing physical exercise when this would reduce her time to complete her work. I was able to comfort her by reminding her of the cognitive benefits she would experience (better focus and retention) following her regularly scheduled exercise session .
There are 3 main benefits for our brain when we do physical exercise:
- The most simple benefit is increased blood flow to the brain. For our brain to work well we need to have good blood flow. Exercise increases the blood flow in our body and this includes our brain.
- Exercise has also been proven to increase the physical size of the hippocampus which is the part of the brain responsible for memory.
- The connections between the nerve cells in our brain are also enhanced by exercise. Closer connections can protect our brain from injury and disease and also can improve our memory.
Have you ever noticed the way your concentration or focus improves after an exercise session? You are not imagining things – this is a real result. Regular exercise has been a part of our childrens’ day at school for years and the impact of exercise on the brain (in particular concentration) is one of the reasons it is a no longer something the kids do once a week.
The good new too is that it is never too late to start. You will see the benefits immediately in terms of increased mental clarity and memory. But you will also be increasing the likelihood of retaining cognitive function well into old age.
You only have ONE BRAIN. Regular exercise is something you can do to make sure you keep it in good shape forever.