Are you constantly feeling distracted and tired? Is your lack of focus harming your professional development? Throw away your coffee and energy drinks. Exercising thirty minutes a day, five times a week is a far better option.
Having trouble concentrating? There can be many reasons for that. Maybe you are bored and constantly distracted by external stimuli. Or maybe you are not fit and always feeling stressed out and tired. Fatigue and stress are real concentration killers. So is distraction.
Lack of focus is harming your development
Constant lack of focus can be very bad for your educational and professional development. You may not be able to achieve all the things you want to achieve in life. Time to break out of that vicious cycle! In most cases, the key to improving your concentration is simple: regular exercise.
Happier, more energetic and less stressed out
Regular exercise is good for your heart. It helps you to maintain a healthy blood pressure and weight. You will probably feel happier, more energetic and less stressed out. Besides these obvious health benefits, regular physical activity can also improve your concentration and learning ability. Research shows that increasing the time that students spend in physical education classes improves their attention, concentration and test-scores. Adults experience similar health benefits. More exercise is linked to the formation of new neurons and more diverse, denser interconnections between them.
More exercise is linked to the formation of new neurons and more diverse, denser interconnections between them.
Exercising improves your ability to concentrate. It even makes you happier and more creative. What are the benefits of exercising and how does that work?
Exercising improves your:
When people get fitter, the part of the brain we call the hippocampus seems to grow. The hippocampus is at the core of the brain’s learning and memory systems and It seems to respond strongly to aerobic exercise. What might explain the memory boosting effect of physical activity.
Regular exercise may also help you concentrate. An experiment on schoolchildren that were doing 20 minute workouts in-between lessons showed that their attention spans improved dramatically. Remembering important information and ignoring distractions also became easier for them.
Some of the great thinkers in history loved walking to boost their creativity. People like: Darwin, Einstein, Dickens, Nietzsche and Steve Jobs walked many miles, looking for solutions to problems they were working on. Research showed that walking helps with what we call: divergent thinking, the free-roaming, idea generating component of creative thought.
Divergent thinking is the free-roaming, idea-generating component of creative thought.
Physical activity makes you feel happier. Regular runners often experience the ‘runner’s high’ that makes them feel great after an intense exercise. Chemicals are released in your bloodstream and brain that kill pain and make you feel good. People that are suffering from depressions often get the advice to start exercising.
Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 times a week
How often do we need to exercise to experience these benefits? The advice I see the most is to exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. While exercising, try to raise your heart rate to about 70% of the maximum to reap the most benefits for your brain. For men, the maximum heart rate is roughly 220 minus your age. For example, if you are 40 years old you should raise your heart rate to 126 (70% of (220 – 40 = 180)). You should always ask advice from your doctor before you start exercising.
The easiest way to start the exercise habit is to just start walking. When you take a break from work, step outside and walk. If you do that two or three times a day you will have no trouble achieving those exercise goals. Expand from there. When you start feeling fitter, try out different sports and find one that suits your needs. The key is to find something you will enjoy doing for a long time.