Okay, this really is a no brainer and it might seem like common sense … but I am going to go ahead with it anyway, because sometimes we forget to do the things that are in our best interest. Most times it is because we don’t know WHY we should do them … so here are a couple of GREAT reasons why getting off the sofa and getting into some exercise could help you be a more dynamic and creative thinker.
The goal with Integrated Intelligence is to fine tune the ‘Intelligence muscles’ of the brain and body to balance and improve function so we can be more Creative, Innovative and Intuitive … and I.I offers lots of ways to do that, but did you know that exercising our BODY is also a crucial way to improve brain function?
We all know (or at least have a vague memory) of how good it feels when we participate in regular and consistent exercise, the increased flow of oxygen and release of beneficial hormones and chemicals not only improves how we look in the long run, but also improves how we think, process information and handle stress. With as little as 20 minutes of daily exercise, which includes cardiovascular and /or high paced muscle training, our brains gain just as many benefits as our body does. And when our brains and hearts … are working at optimal levels … every aspect of our lives gains benefit.
When we exercise at a moderate or high level, our bodies break what is known as the ‘blood-brain barrier’. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise it is … anything that requires our heart rate to increase and breathing to escalate, will do the trick. It can be jogging, yoga, hiking, cycling or even love making… (got your attention on that one didn’t I?)
The increase in oxygen begins to saturate the blood which makes it’s way eventually into the temporal lobe of the brain, which houses a structure called the hippocampus; (Which is NOT a University for large African animals) and a smaller lobe called the denate gyrus. As we exercise, oxygen floods the area and a chemical/protein known as IGF-1 is released ~ this activates a second neuro~chemical called BDNF. This team of natural ‘feel good’ boosters act like a stimulant and power booster for the brain and ultimately has a ‘trickle down’ effect on every other function of the body as well.
Any type of high paced workout will not only activate these awesome ‘brain boosting’ chemicals, but will also help release a torrent of other feel good chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. (Which is the chemical our body produces when we fall in love!) And who doesn’t want a bit more of THAT?
All of these chemicals help balance the brain by giving it more energy to function efficiently which helps in focus, clarity and productivity. And when a brain is integrated and balanced, it is more healthy and as a result can also relax and rest when it needs to as well. Regular exercise opens the door to a natural pharmacy in our body – giving us energy and focus when we need to be on our toes, and allows us to recuperate and regenerate when the day is done.
20 minutes a day improves memory, elevates mood, balances emotions and increases the ability to innovate and solve problems. People who exercise regularly also greatly reduce incidents of depression, anxiety and other stress related disorders.
When we stop exercising, not only do our muscles get weaker and smaller, but so too do parts of our brain; which can lead to neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. When our brain is flooded with all of the beneficial nutrients produced by exercise, it actually begins to create new cells, replacing old, damaged or worn out brain matter with new ‘age resistant’ ones.
So if you are wanting to stay young, to keep your life, your body and even your career on the ‘cutting edge’ of everything new, Innovative and potentially earth changing … just start moving. 20 minutes a day … not only will your body start feeling and looking better, but you may find that your brain has lots of new things to be excited about as well.