Studies abound indicating physical exercise is essential in maintaining optimum brain health. The brain requires an enormous amount of total body resources to maintain its functions. In fact, even though the brain is roughly 2 percent of total body weight, it uses 25 percent of total body glucose. In other words, for every 1,000 calories of fuel our body takes in, 250 of those calories go to the brain.
An individual with a healthy cardiovascular system is efficient at delivering essential nutrients (mainly glucose and oxygen) the brain demands to perform tasks such as operating heavy machinery, planning a budget or studying. A more efficient system means you can work for longer periods with fewer mistakes or study longer with a higher rate of retention.
A healthy muscular system also generally means a healthy nervous system. The next time you experience that midday sinking feeling or just feel sluggish, try this brain-boosting routine:
» Get up from your chair and make big circles with your arms. This will help to loosen the neck muscles.
» Perform 25 jumping jacks to boost circulation.
» Perform 10 desktop push-ups. This will contract upper-body muscles.
» Stand up and sit down from your chair 20 times. This will contract the lower body musculature.
This short routine will stimulate the whole body and reinvigorate you from the stagnation of the day. Stay loose, healthy and strong.
Reggie Palma is an exercise physiologist and personal trainer with 12 years of experience. He has a fourth-degree black belt in the art of Kali Filipino martial arts.