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How to Destress While Improving Your IQ & PQ ...
Become Healthier, Think Better and Quicker
with Improved Physical Brainpower



If you’ve been stalling on renewing your gym membership or are just having trouble finding motivation to get up off the couch after a long day at work, here’s some fodder for you to chew on: along with boosting your physical stamina, staying fit can boost your brainpower.

Exercise increases oxygen flow to your brain and boosts growth factors that help new nerve cells survive, both of which can help to give your brainpower a boost.

For starters, exercise produces beneficial changes in your brain, including:

  • Encouraging the growth of new cells by increasing oxygen flow to your brain
  • Boosting growth factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps new nerve cells to survive
  • Increasing neurotransmitters in your brain that play a role in cognition

Further, according to the Franklin Institute, “Movement and exercise increase breathing and heart rate so that more blood flows to the brain, enhancing energy production and waste removal. Studies show that in response to exercise, cerebral blood vessels can grow, even in middle-aged sedentary animals.”

There’s also evidence that shows physically fit people have higher IQs than those who are out of shape.

Staying Fit Leads to Higher IQ Scores

A study of over 1 million Swedish men in the military found that those in good physical shape had better scores on an IQ test, with the strongest association found for logical thinking and verbal comprehension.

"Being fit means that you also have good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen," Michael Nilsson, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy and chief physician at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital told ScienceDaily. "This may be one of the reasons why we can see a clear link with fitness, but not with muscular strength. We are also seeing that there are growth factors that are important."

Interestingly, the researchers’ results also showed that men who were fit at age 18 were more likely to go to college and later get more qualified jobs. Even in youth, when young adults aged 15 to 18 improved their physical fitness they also improved their cognitive performance, the researchers said.

Physical Education Boosts Students’ Grades

Students who exercise regularly score higher on reading, math, and problem solving tests.

For students, regular exercise is invaluable for keeping grades up. In fact, at Naperville Central High School outside of Chicago, educators are taking this knowledge to heart and implementing physical education as the first class of the day for kids who are struggling with grades. They’ve also added exercise bikes and balls to classrooms so that students can keep moving throughout the day.

Upon making this simple changed, students’ reading scores nearly doubled and math scores increased by a factor of 20!

Previous research by Dr. Charles Hillman at the University of Illinois has also shown that spending 30 minutes on a treadmill makes students up to 10 percent better at problem solving, ABC News reported.

Exercise Boosts Seniors’ Brains, Too

The brain-boosting effects of exercise are not limited to youth. On the contrary, older adults can also reap the mental benefits of a regular exercise program.

In one study, adults aged 50 to 79 who exercised had substantially lower rates of cognitive decline than those who were more sedentary. Likewise, women aged 60 to 63 who exercised moderately did better on brain function tests than those who exercised strenuously, which suggests that overdoing it might not be a good thing.

Research by Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois also found that aerobic exercise builds gray and white matter in seniors’ brains, adding further support for the importance of physical activity at all ages.

Further, he states, “Walking 45 minutes three times a week for six months significantly improved mental ability of older adults with no dementia …,” so even walking a few times a week may provide a noticeable benefit.

And according to the Franklin Institute, “Walking is especially good for your brain, because it increases blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain. Walking is not strenuous, so your leg muscles don't take up extra oxygen and glucose like they do during other forms of exercise. As you walk, you effectively oxygenate your brain. Maybe this is why walking can "clear your head" and help you to think better.”

An Added Mind Perk … Stress Relief!

Stress has been called America's number one health problem, and it is estimated by the American Institute for Stress that 75 percent to 90 percent of visits to the doctor are for stress-related problems.

And when your mind is stressed it’s nearly impossible to think on your feet. This is why having a reliable and effective form of stress relief is an essential part of your well-being, and as it turns out exercise is an excellent stress reduction tool.

Aside from strengthening your heart and lungs, two organs that can become physically affected from too much stress, it's great for your mental health too. Exercising increases the levels of endorphins in your body, which stimulate your immune system, reduce stress and put you in a better mood.

One of the best exercise programs out there, which combines not only the physical aspect of fitness but also the mental, is SheaNetics from -- developed by Shea Vaughn -- fitness guru and mom to Hollywood celebrity actor Vince Vaughn.

SheaNetics is an innovative blend of Yoga, Pilates, Martial Arts, Tai Chi, GYROKINESIS®, Dance and other great exercise techniques that give you fabulous workouts right in your own  home. The creative choreography is fresh, challenging and energizing and helps you to build strength and sculpt your body while increasing balance and flexibility.

SheaNetics also introduces you to “Tri-Core-Power Training” – a highly effective technique for developing all three regions of the core, improving balance and boosting physical performance. 

As your workouts progress, positive and lasting physical changes quickly become possible. But you’ll also experience mental benefits as well by embracing the SheaNetics Five Living Principles -- Commitment, Perseverance, Self-Control, Integrity and Love. They inspire and motivate your workouts while giving direction and purpose to the rest of your life.

Stretching should also be integrated with your exercise routine, as it will provide you with increased energy levels and an even greater sense of well-being. There are countless stretches for your body, but it takes just 15 of them to stretch 95 percent of your body, according to stretching expert and creator of the DVD Stretching Toward a Healthier Life, Jacques Gauthier.

His Stretching Toward a Healthier Life DVD shows you all 15 of these most effective stretching exercises, and the full program takes just 15 to 20 minutes a day. Along with stretching and core work, you’ll also want to include aerobics and strength training to round out your exercise routine.

So what are you waiting for?

NOW is your time to get fit and give your body and mind the healthy gift of exercise.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve exercised, first read this past article How to Most Effectively Start Working Out When You Haven't Exercised in Years. It contains nine great tips to get you moving.

Then, if you’re not sure what type of exercises would best suit you, try using a personal trainer. He or she can educate you on a variety of workout routines designed to meet your individual fitness goals on both mental and physical levels.

SixWise Ways!
SixWise Says ...

“I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.”

“It is well documented that for every minute that you exercise, you add one minute to your life with less potential of getting a disease or keeping diseases in remission until you can’t exercise anymore. This enables you at 90 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5,000 per month.”

"Well ya see, it's like this ... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we all know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers. That’s my story and sticking to it!"

“OK, here’s my nemesis, we all know that brain cells come and brain cells go… especially if you overindulge and don’t exercise daily, but fat cells are resilient as they only minimize just waiting for that next bite of processed food, soda or cake to expand millions of times in size… as fat cells never die, they live on forever.”

“Many complain about their looks, but no one of their brains. Yet we all secretly seek improvement.” 

“The human brain is a wonderful thing. It starts working the moment you are born, and never stops when you have sat for hours with all the blood stuck in your legs… or when you stand up to speak in public."

"For men the problem is that God gave them a brain and a penis, but only enough blood to run one at a time."

Recommended Reading

Is it Better to Exercise to Music?

At What Age is Exercise No Longer Good for You?

Sources December 3, 2009

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences December 8, 2009, vol. 106, no. 49 20906-20911

ABC News April 14, 2010

Los Angeles Times July 16, 2009 April 21, 2008

The Franklin Institute

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