When you think of brainpower, you probably don’t think of giving your mind a workout. At least, not in the same way you work out your arms or legs. But in essence, that’s what you’re doing when you lift weights, stretch or perform any kind of fitness activity. There is a direct correlation between fitness and the amount of brainpower you have.
One of the simplest positive impacts fitness has on your body is that it increases the production of oxygen in your blood and gets your blood moving through your body. When you increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, your muscles can move quicker, your reaction speeds will increase, and your brain function increases as well. By increasing your fitness level, you are multiplying the functionality of your brain, and not just for the short term.
Research has shown that moderate to intense fitness levels have a long term, positive effect on the brain in terms of brainpower. The rate at which your body increases in fitness is reflected in the brainpower your brain exudes. Therefore, the more whole, balanced and completely fit your body is, the more brainpower you will have.
As you work out, whether running, lifting weights, swimming or doing yoga, you are constantly using the muscles in your brain to cognitively decipher which instruments to use, which way to turn, how to position your body or simply to balance yourself in a specific position. While doing this, you are consistently providing your brain with a workout filled with a variety of challenging exercises. Using these logistics helps increase your brain’s usability and, in turn, increases your brainpower and ability to make decisions, analyze problems and more.
As previously mentioned, fitness increases the blood flow of your body, or your body’s circulation. Increased circulation from fitness helps regulate normal bodily functions, such as digestion and sleep patterns, as well as decrease stress levels and increase metabolism, attention and general mood, all of which aid in creating higher and healthier brainpower. Studies have shown that increased fitness decreases attention deficit disorder, depression and other disorders, which indicates an increase in brainpower and positive energy.
Some scientists have concluded that the brainpower gained from increased fitness helps your brain cells adapt to new information better, linking up easily and more permanently rather than struggling to retain new information. Your brain cells, in essence, become more pliable and willing to grow. This increases learning capability in the brain, as well as basic functionality and the ability to think critically.
When most people think about fitness, they generally envision a weight room with heavy equipment, yoga mats, a swimming pool or running track. What they don’t think about is how the equipment is being used, outside and in. Every time you exercise, you are increasing the blood flow in your body, bringing in extra oxygen, firing different synapses in your brain and overall increasing your brainpower. The connection between fitness and brainpower is enormously strong. The next time you step into your gym shoes, remember: you’re giving your brain a workout, too.