Working Out Makes You Smarter?

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We already know the facts: Our country is unhealthy. Few Nigerian adults exercise enough, and that poor lifestyle choice is getting handed down to our children with few activities and a poor diet. And all these poor choices affecting our health, causing heart disease, diabetes, and untold other health consequences. But what if the effects aren’t only physical?

Information from points out that exercise has some great benefits for not just how our body works, but how our brains work, too. It’s clearly important for kids, who need all the brain power they can get for school, but it’s equally important for adults: A fit worker is a fast, efficient worker.

First, let’s review the facts. Children – who should be buzzing about with so much energy that we have to ask them not to exercise – aren’t moving around that much anymore. (Ironically, a big part of the problem is the diminished role of physical education in many schools). Very few children get 30 minutes of daily exercise, and by the time they’re teenagers, even fewer are getting their daily recommended amount of physical activity.

So what? Bill Gates probably spent more time tinkering with computers than he did on the basketball court, and he turned out fine. But not all of us are Bill Gates. In fact, only one of us is. Most of us could probably use a little brain boost, and it turns out that exercise does just that. In studies of students, vigorous exercise was shown to improve IQ scores by 3.8 points–and test scores, too.

This applies to adults, as well. Exercise improves memory, releases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (a protein that makes your neurons healthier), and has been shown to potentially increase the size of your hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for memory and spatial recognition. It’s no surprise, then, that university students who work out before class do better on tests, and workers who work out are more efficient.

The lesson? If your employees want to take a longer lunch break to hit the gym, you should let them. You’ll be getting more than enough out of them in the afternoon to make up for the lost time.

Don’t believe us? Read on..

  • The average 6-11 year old spends 28 hours watching television each week.
  • On average, an employee who exercises regularly is 15% more efficient.
  • Exercise stimulates brain growth. Mice that ran 3 miles each night doubled their hippocampus (a part of the brain associated with memory and learning) over time.
  • Student who regularly play vigorous sports show a 20% improvement in Maths, Science, English and Social Studies.
  • Students who worked out before class improved test scores 17% on average.

Enough said, time for some push ups.

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