Clear Your Mind with Jogging
Why do many people go out for a jog when they need to think? It’s because it allows you to clear your mind and focus on the task at hand. From jogging to walking to exercise in general, check out how jogging can improve your state of mind!
Jogging for mental clarity
Need additional reasons to keep active or to start jogging?
Did you know that jogging and running can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to sharpening your focus and getting mental clarity?
Many people say that they feel invigorated and much more capable of thinking clearly after intense physical activity. There are several reasons why.
Jogging and Stress
When you’re under a lot of stress, it feels like your entire body and your mind tense up. You need a lot of time to perform a challenging intellectual task. Through exercise, you find yourself much more capable of coping with stress.
As a result, getting in the habit of jogging regularly may help you think better.
Physical activity releases endorphins to the brain. These feel-good chemicals break the vicious cycle. This is the main reason why taking a break from work is so important. If you’re facing a challenge that you simply can’t cope with, go out and have a jog.
Reducing the stress will boost your creative and mental powers, increasing your intellectual productivity, as well.
Better Circulation and Improved Brain Function
Jogging helps us think better in yet another way. This mechanism also holds true for other types of intense physical activity and cardio exercises.
When you jog, the heart starts beating faster and pumping more blood. This enhancement in circulation enables more blood and nutrients to reach the brain, as well.
Studies suggest that people who jog and do other kinds of intense physical activity see an improvement in memory and cognitive function. They’re also capable of focusing easily and their attention span improves.
The very same study also concluded that jogging helps for the formation of new “connections” between the brain cells. The mechanism is equally beneficial for kids interested in learning new things and seniors that are at a risk of experiencing cognitive decline. Jogging maintains brain health, reducing the risk of age-related memory loss. In addition, jogging increases the volume of the brain’s hippocampus – the region that plays a crucial role in keeping the memory sharp.
When we jog and exercise vigorously, new brain cells form in the hippocampus. This is one of the main reasons why researchers believe that exercise protects us against cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies suggest that people who exercise regularly are 50 percent less likely to suffer from dementia than the ones that lead a completely sedentary lifestyle.
Jogging Frees Up the Mind
Jogging is a physical activity that doesn’t require a conscious thought on your behalf. This is the main reason why when you jog, your mind will usually wonder.
The mechanism is very simple. Jogging frees up the mind. It results in a state of peacefulness, encouraging creative thinking. As a result, people who exercise regularly are much more likely to come up with innovative ideas than the ones that lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Stanford researchers Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz published a series of intriguing studies that suggest jogging and walking can lead to on-the-spot creativity changes. The two researchers had 176 university students participate in their experiment. The students had to complete creative thinking tests while doing different activities – strolling through the campus, walking on a treadmill or sitting.
It’s interesting to point out that 95 percent of the students walking were capable of completing one of the creative tasks (coming up with a metaphor) but only 50 percent of the volunteers sitting were successful with the very same test.
It’s All About Using the Brain
This all sounds great and you should probably start tying the laces of your running shoes right now! There’s one more very important thing to keep in mind, however.
Clinical studies suggest that the new brain cells that form in the hippocampus will die off almost immediately if they’re not being used. These cells are born as a form of a backup mechanism. If new skills aren’t learned and if knowledge isn’t accumulated, however, they will be rendered useless.
When you use your memory and challenge yourself intellectually, these brand new brain cells become permanent. This means that apart from jogging, you should do intellectual exercises and you should also challenge yourself to think.
Learning a new language or a new skill, for example, will help you make the most of the brain cells acquired through those intense jogging sessions.
Aerobic exercise like jogging improves cognitive function, strengthens the ties between brain cells, boosts the effectiveness of circulation and sharpens the mental focus. As you can see, the way in which jogging affects your brain is truly complex.
One thing is certain, however – this is yet another reason to get out there and push your body. Exercising improves the mood, helps you cope with stress more effectively and frees up intellectual resources.
You’ll be fitter, you’ll feel better and you’ll enjoy mental clarity.
Could anything be better and more beneficial for your body?