Exercise Makes You SMARTER and Improves Your BRAIN HEALTH!

squatbIt’s pretty obvious that exercising regularly will improve your physical health including your cardiovascular health, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, bone density, blood pressure, lipid levels and more. But many don’t realize how much exercise improves your mental well-being and the actual functionality of your brain!

Recent studies have demonstrated that regular exercise may lower the risk of Alzheimers and Dementia and improve your memory and decision making skills.

The theory is that exercise increases general blood flow and may directly benefit brain cells due to this increased flow of oxygen and blood to the brain.  Some literature has suggested that exercise that incorporates a large degree of mental stimulation including dance with choreography and sport with strategy may offer an increase benefit to brain health.

Here’s some fascinating results to suggest that our world would be smarter and our businesses more successful if we exercised on a daily basis:

  • One International Journal of Workplace Health Management study found that people are 23 percent more productive on days they exercise compared to days they don’t.
  • One study found women who exercise outperform their peers on difficult cognitive tasks.
  • One study from the Institute of Sports Science found that moving your body through space including navigating around an opponent or across a field, can make you a better map reader, better able to manage your way through congested traffic and put together furniture more easily.
  • The Journal of Applied Physiology review of more than 100 studies found that the more you perform focused strength workouts, the more you’re able to focus and avoid distractions.
  • The same Journal of Applied Physiology study found that endurance exercise improves your body’s ability to sustain an extended amount of effort which ultimately can help you stick with long terms goals and plans and grueling tasks.
  • One study found that people learned vocabulary words 20 percent faster after they performed high-impact sprints compared to low intensity exercise. The higher levels of dopamine, epinephrine and other hormones released during high intensity exercise may be responsible for the improved memory benefits.
  • One study at the University of Illinois found that a 20-minute yoga session improved students’ ability to quickly and accurately process information.

Exercise increases the amount of oxygen sent to the brain, ultimately increasing your energy and making you sharper. Exercise is your ‘happy, go-lucky drug’ improving your self-confidence, improving your mood, reducing stress and depression. Share this information with your employer to encourage them to subsidize their health and fitness memberships and personal training and allow you a slightly extended lunch so you can get your workouts in. You will personally benefit but so will their business! And it’s also important to note that this works for your kids and school too!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

471451 Girlfriends runJoin us for the….
The 10th Annual Girlfriends Run for a Cure is a Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) and a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) designed specifically for women to get together to do something good for themselves and to help support a very important women’s cause.

Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details. 

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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