Does Exercise Make You Smarter?

One of my favorite topics is how exercise improves your brain. Exercise benefits people of all ages, but it is especially important for the developing brains of adolescents. Here are a couple of reasons that exercising, especially before a learning session, is vital for your student's brain health.

- Exercise releases a protein molecule to your brain that actually helps to create new brain cells and make stronger connections between existing brain cells. Why is this important? To simplify it, more brain cells and stronger connections make learning and remembering easier.

- Exercise regulates and optimizes levels of neurotransmitters (what brain cells use to communicate with each other) such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, all of which play key roles in your brain’s ability to pay attention, stay motivated, and learn effectively.

- Exercise has many other effects in the brain, from helping people with chronic anxiety and depression to ADHD.

The best thing is you don't have to spend hours working out to get these benefits. A quick 7-10 minute high intensity workout before a "learning session" is enough.