You’ve probably seen supplements that claim to boost brain performance and games that improve your IQ. Although some companies may claim an extreme brain boost at an extreme price, the verdict is still out on if the products offer a real boost to brain performance apart from the placebo effect.
Research and the Proven Way to Boost Cognitive Functioning
Reading ‘Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School’ by John Medina, I came across a study that tested the benefits of jogging on mental performance, such as memory, perception and thinking over a 12-week period. The researchers found that jogging significantly improved the mental performance of the group that had been asked to jog. They also found that once the jogging program stopped, so did the benefits of the mental performance boost.
How much exercise do we need to improve brain performance?
So you might ask, “How much exercise do I need to get the brain boost?” A study from the University of Georgia found that moderate exercise of up to 60 minutes improves brain performance. On the other hand, extremely strenuous and extended exercise will lower brain performance for the short period one is tired and dehydrated. Studies have also shown that exercise in short bursts of 10 minutes 3 times a day yielded the same results as one 30 minute exercise session to improve cardiovascular health. With the improvement of the cardiovascular system, more fresh oxygen is introduced into both the body and brain, improving brain performance.
You will also want to consider your physical condition before you begin or up your exercise schedule. If you’re uninterested in jogging, try walking around the block for 15-30 minutes 2 to 3 times a week and if you’re just starting off, aim to break a light sweat. The key is to start moving your body and get your blood flowing to your brain.
Do I have time to exercise?
When we’re hit with a last minute work project, a call from a friend to hang out, your child’s science project that’s due tomorrow or any number of things that could happen and do happen, exercise and sleep usually take the back seat. Although a regular exercise schedule is ideal, if you’re on a time crunch, use lunchtime to get some exercise in. Don’t want to get too sweaty while exercising? Try these exercises without breaking a sweat and if you do, here are 4 ways to combat sweat. Use the often-missed opportunities to get moving. Do you need to go to the water cooler? Take the long way and get an extra few steps in. Get creative, move your body and get smarter!