project article - How Exercise Boosts Your Brainpower Share...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
How Exercise Boosts Your Brainpower Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Pinterest You know that logging miles on the treadmill can give you a trim body, but adding more cardio to your life will also ratchet up your smarts, boost your productivity, rev your energy, and turn you into an unstoppable success machine. Even one 30-minute cardio session pumps extra blood to your brain, delivering the oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at max efficiency. Cardio also floods the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem solving, and decision making. And new research has found that this kind of exercise may even cause permanent structural changes to the brain itself. "Cardiovascular health is more important than any other single factor in preserving and improving learning and memory," says Thomas Crook, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and memory researcher. "You're working out your brain at the same time as your heart." And the mental mojo you get from cardio isn't limited to making you smarter. It also has the power to lower your stress levels and shake you out of a funk. It's no coincidence that so many high-achieving women—from Madonna to Condoleezza Rice—share the cardio habit. Here's how it works. Which works better — cardio or weight training ? Your Brain on Cardio Anyone who has ever tackled a StairMaster has a pretty good idea of what happens to your body when you break a sweat. But here's what's going on in your head at the same time: All that extra blood bathes your brain cells in oxygen and glucose, which they need to function. The more they get, the better they perform. Every muscle you move also sends hormones rushing to your brain. There, they mix with a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which plays a role in brain cell growth, mood regulation, and learning. "BDNF is like fertilizer for the brain," says John J. Ratey,
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "Without it, our brains can't take in new information or make new cells."
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern