Exercise Your Mind and Take Your Brain for a Walk

Brain Games, Mental Fitness, Motivational

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Exercise for Mental Fitness as well as Physical FitnessDid you know that when you exercise, your brain gets the same benefits that your body enjoys? 

Like any self-respecting muscle, your brain craves stimulation and oxygen.  The muscles of our body (including our heart) rely on activity to keep them strong, healthy, and vital.  A lot of people are surprised to learn that the brain also benefits greatly from physical activity.

If you’ve read this blog or its main website (TMFC) before , you’re aware of the benefits of mental exercise and activity.  I’m always preaching about the importance of brain teasers, crossword puzzles, reading, and challenging your mind to go further today than it did yesterday.

But, the brain needs more than just mental stimulation – it needs physical stimulation as well.  When we exercise, our brain literally thrives on the increased oxygen and blood flow.  It rewards us with increased sharpness and focus.

While we’ll see benefits from any increase in physical activity, walking is especially good for the brain.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m going for a walk to clear my head.”  Without realizing it, there’s actually scientific data standing behind their words!

Walking increases blood circulation, glucose, and oxygen to the brain.  Because it isn’t as strenuous as, say, aerobics, cycling, or swimming, our leg muscles don’t take more than their fair share of the increased blood circulation, glucose, or oxygen.  The brain says, “They’re all mine!”   The extra oxygen and blood flow the brain enjoys during a walk, in fact, does “clear your head” and allow you to think more clearly.

I guess that’s why people like me, who think a little too much, love walking so much.  It supports our habit!

Make each moment count double,

~ Joi

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3 comments… add one
  • Hi, Joi.

    Lovely post.

    I’ve noticed a point in common between physical exercise and brain exercise. They can both be addictive (in a good way).

    My exercise of choice is swimming. If I don’t swim every couple of days I really miss it.

    I crave mental stimulation in the same way. And with both, the more intense a workout, the more profound the effects.

    I’ve been using a brain training program I developed based on a recent research study — Improving Fluid Intelligence by Training Working Memory (PNAS). Jaeggi’s team recorded increases in mental agility (fluid intelligence) of up to 50% after 19 days of focused training with a dual n-back progressive method.

    I was so impressed that I developed my software program so that anyone can achieve these improvements at home.
    iqtesttraining.com – The IQ Training Program

    mind evolve, llc

  • Doris Link

    So true! I read this in the book “7 Steps to a Healthy Brain” by Dr. Paul Winner. There is so much we can do to help our minds and bodies.

  • Interesting site. I support your view about the relationship between health and mental health, exercise and mental health. A grossly understated relationship.

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