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How Exercise Can Help You Focus

If you’re a regular on this site, you’ll know that there are a number of articles about the benefits of exercise in general and how exercise can help you focus.  Regular exercise is absolutely key for your body and its vital organs to function properly but there are added benefits too, three of which I have added below.  They are written by Jennifer Cohen for Forbes.com.

How Exercise Can Help You Focus

Increases Energy

The more you move, the more energized you will feel. Regular physical activity improves your muscle strength and boosts your endurance, giving you the energy you need to think clearer and come up with new ideas. A good 15 minutes of moving around, even just around your living room, makes your body produce more energy on a cellular level.

Sharpens Focus

Dr. John Ratey, author of “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” says that exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterwards.  If you have a presentation or speaking engagement try to work out beforehand; you’ll be at your peak when you have to perform. In the long term, it can even help starve off brain aging and Alzheimer’s. This works on the cellular level through neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to improve itself with blood flow and levels of brain-derived protein. He calls it “miracle-gro” for the brain, and it all comes from regular exercise!

Helps Impulse Control

Exercise helps trigger endorphins, which improve the prioritizing functions of the brain. After exercise, your ability to sort out priorities improves, allowing you to block out distractions and better concentrate on the task at hand.

Read the full article here

Of all the articles I’ve read about how exercise can help you focus this is the first time I have come across exercise as being an aid in impulse control.  This is a little gem of advice as I for one, act on impulse a little too frequently and struggle with decision-making.  From this day forth, I shall make decisions only after a decent workout.  Will you do the same? Share your thoughts below!

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Exercise And Eat Well In Order To Focus

Have you heard that you need to exercise and eat well in order to focus?  Just in case you’ve missed my umpteen posts on the necessity of exercise for focus, I thought I’d include this article written by David Wilson for the Sydney Morning Herald.  He features some highly respected entrepreneurs, including Sir Richard Branson (heard of him?), Tim Ferris (him too?), and Luke Baylis (founder of SumoSalad). They’re all huge advocates of exercise as you’d expect being successful business men.  Here’s a snippet of what David Wilson writes about Luke Baylis, regarding his experience before and after exercise:

“You didn’t have quite the same level of focus and you didn’t have quite the same level of motivation and the same type of clear head that you do when you’re fit and healthy and you exercise regularly,” the Sydneysider says. Apparently, massive American portion sizes and tasty trappings were his undoing.

And here’s what David Wilson includes about Sydney marketing agency owner, Robert Steers:

Thanks to his workouts, he can then work without needing four cups of coffee to stay on the case. “It does feel like I am more focused,” he says.

So that he avoids experiencing end-of-day, sitting-induced back soreness, Steers also does Pilates.

“I am not normally into the soft and fluffy stuff, but stretching my back out makes me feel really great for days,” he says. Pilates, he reckons, is outstanding – “a great way to unwind, which I have trouble doing otherwise”.

Besides exercising religiously, Steers avoids fast food and junk food “at all costs”. If out at a meeting, he eats sushi or just grabs a sandwich washed down with water, of which he drinks plenty, curbing coffee to two cups a day.

Read the full, original article here

So there we have it, four successful business men and a business woman (if you read the whole article) talking about why they exercise and eat well in order to focus.  If Richard Branson has enough time to exercise, then I think we mere mortals can prioritise 30 minutes a day to exercise.  If we don’t, we’re actually depriving our bodies of a basic and natural requirement, not only for the brain, but for all organs to function properly.  If you’re struggling to focus on your exercise regime, click here.

 

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Exercise Is the Single Best Way to Keep Your Brain Active

This week is Brain Awareness Week, and this short but sweet post gets straight to the point. Clinical neuroscientist, Dr Cathy Stinear explains that exercise is the single best way to keep your brain active.

It’s Brain Awareness Week, with a focus on research into how the brain works, and teaching people how to look after what’s between their ears.

Clinical neuroscientist Dr Cathy Stinear says she’s often amazed by just how much of a recovery people with injuries can make.

She says contrary to popular belief, physical exercise is the best way to get the best out of your brain.

“A lot of people think that to keep their brain healthy into older age they need to be doing crosswords and sudoku and playing bridge and those are all good things but in fact the single best thing you can do for your brain health is to simply go for a walk every day.”

Dr Stinear says people of all ages are always keen to learn more about how their brain functions.

So put away the sudoku and newspaper, get outside in the fresh air, pick your favourite aerobic activity whether it be swimming, walking, jogging or anything else and set aside just 20 minutes a day. I find the best time to do exercise is often first thing in the morning, or just after breakfast so you can mentally prepare yourself for the day to come.  It’s one of the best ways to focus in my opinion.  Remind yourself that exercise is the single best way to keep your brain active – and without it, your brain will suffer.

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Exercise for a healthy brain!

It is common knowledge that we all need to exercise for a healthy brain, but did you know that it can actually affect you memory too? The more you exercise, according to Dr Dr Philip Poi Jun Hua, the more the part of your brain associated with memory, the hippocampus, actually grows. As we age, the hippocampus actually shrinks so it is particularly important for people of all ages to get regular exercise.

The benefits of physical activity are well publicised. Since the Jack LaLanne fitness programmes on television in the early 1960’s, and Jim Fixx’s running/jogging revolution at the same time, people began to change their perception of what defines a good life. Fat was out, fit was “in”. However, we Malaysians have not embraced this willingly, as evidenced by the increasing numbers of obese young and middle-aged citizens.

It is easy for us to think that exercise only exerts its effects on our bodies from the neck down, but the same types of exercise benefit our brains too.

Now, there is growing evidence that physical activity is good not only for your heart, but for your brain as well. And in case you are in the 45-49 year age group, be aware that a recent study of over 7,000 civil servants (men and women) in the UK has shown that many domains (except vocabulary) indicating cognitive decline or memory decline was already evident in this “young” age group!

Not only do we absolutely need to exercise for a healthy brain, but it’s one of the most effective, and natural ways, to fend off illness. Why, oh why, do so many middle-aged people think that exercise isn’t necessary? What do you think? Is it a lack of education? Is it a lack of knowledge? I’d love to see some feedback!

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How Exercise Fuels the Brain

If you’re a regular on this site, you’ll have read a number of posts related to how exercise is key for your brain. Now you’ve understood that, you may want to understand just how exercise fuels the brain, and Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times explains just how this is done.

Moving the body demands a lot from the brain. Exercise activates countless neurons, which generate, receive and interpret repeated, rapid-fire messages from the nervous system, coordinating muscle contractions, vision, balance,

Whilst this particular testing was done on animals, it is clear how exercise fuels the brain. An interesting point was with regard to how your brain needs feeding straight after exercise, along with your muscles – with some kind of carbohydrate.

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Regular Exercise Can Boost Memory And Focus

As we all know, exercise is a natural requirement to maintain a healthy body, not just to keep fat off, be physically fit and look good, but to fuel our vital organs, such as our brain. Regular exercise can boost memory and focus as Richard Grey of the Daily Telegraph points out. If you don’t exercise regularly, you are actually depriving yourself if your body’s basic requirements. Our bodies were designed to move and be active.

They have shown that such exercise can also increase the size of crucial parts of the brain. The scientists have also discovered that children who are fit also tend to be better at multitasking and performing difficult mental tasks than unfit friends.

If you do not take exercise too seriously, and therefore do not exercise regularly, it’s never too late. You’ll never regret exercising, and you’ll only ever feel better from it. Not only will you feel great afterwards but regular exercise can boost memory and focus. You don’t need to run a marathon every day; 15 minutes a day is a great start.

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Exercise For Focusing Your Mind, Body and Soul

There are many reasons to take up exercise on a regular basis, including its natural ability to make you happy through releasing serotonin into the brain (giving you that natural high), the absolute requirement to keep your organs functioning healthily, it increases your wellbeing, circulates oxygen throughout your body, builds up self-confidence, alleviates stress and keeps you looking good too! Dr Athena Staik goes into detail in this fascinating article about exercise for focusing your mind, body, and soul.

It has a calming, tension-cleansing effect on the mind and body. It increases your ability to focus, and concentrate, and is a great way to regulate anger and reactivity. Several therapy approaches incorporate breathing in dealing with anxiety and panic issues.

Next time you think you don’t have time for exercise, think again, and prioritise exercise in your day.  Not only will you feel great afterwards and throughout the day, but think of it as exercise for focusing your mind, body and soul.

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Food For Focus and Achieving Goals

If you are struggling to focus on your fat loss goals, or stick to an exercise regime, it may be that you are not managing your stress levels. The hormone, cortisol, which is mainly triggered through stress, controls your blood sugar levels (which if they peak leads to the storage of fat), energy production in your body, healing and your immune system. Liz Jones, of the Rockwall Herald Banner, explains in detail why it is so important to eat the correct types of food and exercise regularly in order to achieve your goals.

It may be time to take a look at what you are putting in your mind and in your mouth. Some factors that may be affecting your fitness results are your emotional state or your diet, including liquids. This week I will be focusing on stress as a barrier

You are what you eat and exercise is incredibly important to not only maintain a healthy body, but will help you to focus and achieve your goals.

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