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How Exercise Can Make You Smarter

If you’re not already exercising on a regular basis, then this article on how exercise can make you smarter may just make you do to. It’s widely known that exercise gets oxygen circulating around your brain which leads to sharper thinking , makes you happier and all-round healthier, but new research has shown that exercise can actually make you smarter too.  This is an excerpt from the Huffington Post and you should definitely take a few minutes out read it.

Exercise Boosts Brain PowerIt turns out that exercise does a lot more than get the blood pumping: in about 60 percent of the population, it may be responsible for the expression of a gene that floods your cells with “brain derived neurotrophic factor” — or BDNF – a protein that is thought to help with mental acuity, learning and memory.

In a study based at Dartmouth College, lead researcher Michael Hopkins and his team tested four different exercise schedules on a group of sedentary, though healthy young men. They gave the men a set of memory tests and mental health surveys to determine their psychological states. Some participants exercised for four weeks and were tested on the final day. Another group exercised for four weeks, but did not exercise on test day. A third group had just one day of exercise, followed by the test. A last group was sedentary throughout.

Hopkins and his team found that the group that exercised daily — and on test day — had the benefit of a boost in BDNF. The other groups did not. It’s important to note that “exercise” here referred to moderately-paced walking, rather than a very rigorous training session.

“For mental health benefits, what really counts is exercising on a regular basis — not the intensity. You don’t have to wipe yourself out,” Hopkins tells The Huffington Post. “The basic goal is, get up and move your whole body more than half of the days of the week.”

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So that’s how exercise can you make you smarter. If that’s not enough to get you exercising, then I don’t know what is.  It’s interesting that the boost of BDNF was actually witnessed with those who exercised daily, not just regularly, but daily. I think we can all relate to the fact that exercise makes you sharper (unless you have never exercised and attempted to concentrate afterwards). Twenty minutes of cardiovascular first thing in the morning works wonders for my concentration, certainly for the following few hours. You may have seen on this site that exercise improves your memory too by increasing the size of your hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for memory.  If not, Regular Exercise Can Boost Memory And Focus and Exercise For A Healthy Brain will explain.