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[Review] Why you need to do excise to be smart ;-)






I was following yesterday's article in New Scientist. Today is about exercise and brain function. This article reminded me of a book I read a few years ago about exercise and the brain. The book said that the best thing about exercising is that it helps your brain to work better. In fact, in US states where schooling was designed to encourage students to exercise in the morning, there was an improvement in academic performance. My high school motto was "Bunbu Ryudo --(accomplished in) both the literary and military arts". In athletics, we won local competitions and occasionally went to the national championships, but we were not that great. However, we were recognised academically as one of the best schools in the prefecture, if not in the country. My grades were not so good, so I have nothing to boast about (^^;). But statistically, I think it's an example of how both exercise and study are suitable for your brain.


I wish more people knew about the relationship between exercise and the brain. Still, unfortunately, many teachers seem to think that exercise makes you stupid, and my wife's primary school discontinued the morning marathon event that had been going on for 30 years. I think we will see a decline in academic performance in a few years.


This article tells a similar story to the book I read a few years ago, but with new research results as examples. For example, the blood flow to the brain is increased by up to 15% when the feet hit the ground. In the long term, exercise has also been shown to increase the part of the brain responsible for memory.


Unfortunately, it seems that more and more schools and parents are neglecting the kind of exercise mentioned above. According to an experiment carried out in the UK in 2019, 10-year-olds today have 30% less muscle than they did in 1998.


If you think you're too lazy to exercise, you can still keep your brain active by breathing - six breaths per minute. Six breaths per minute, or five seconds of inhalation followed by five seconds of exhalation, can change the oxygen level in the blood by several per cent. If you take three breaths a minute, you are in a state known as zone or flow. It is the same situation as doing zen, not thinking, just being. I once spent two weeks in a Zen temple. But that's a story for another time.


Anyway, "think" - "do" - "be" are all important ;-)

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