I am a student of all things health and wellness. One statistic that I came across recently was that 90% of all illnesses can be attributed directly or indirectly to dehydration! Amazing! The field of health and wellness fascinates me so when when I read something related, I’m bound to find something interesting.
I came across this next point recently and it blew me away so I thought I should share. The information originally comes from the Harvard Medical School so allow me to give kudos where kudos are due. Anyhow, we know there are substantial physical benefits in regular exercise. That’s a given (well it should be!). What Harvard did was draw a connection between exercise and staying fit with cognitive function – the mental activities by which we acquire and process information that becomes knowledge. Let’s call this “mental performance”. What is one’s mental performance while exercising? Does mental performance change after an exercise session? Finally, as one’s fitness level declines, or as one ages, does one’s mental performance decline?
As it turns out, during moderately intense exercise, mental performance improves in several ways:
- Reaction time
- Perception and interpretation of visual images
- Automation of certain skills, sometimes called muscle memory
- Executive control processes
Of these, exercise exerts the most positive influence on tasks such as:
- Coordination of people, places, events, etc.
- Working memory – the brain’s ability to temporarily store and manage the information required to carry out complex mental functions.
- Inhibition – the ability to block out unnecessary distractions
More to come in Part 2…