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10 Minute Mild Exercise For Immediate Brain Boost!
Madelaine Claire Weiss, LICSW, MBA, BCC -- MIndOverMatters Madelaine Claire Weiss, LICSW, MBA, BCC -- MIndOverMatters
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Washington, DC
Monday, January 31, 2022


Table of Contents

Benefits of Minimal Exercise

Wow, only 10 minutes of mild exercise and I’m already smarter than I was 10 minutes ago? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, why anybody would not just do it. Only, a lot of people just don’t.

In fact, according to HealthyPeople.Gov 2020: “More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.”

Let’s just speculate those guidelines exceed 10 minutes of light exercise per day. In fact, I’ve heard it recommended, over and over again, that we are supposed to do 30 minutes per day.

But now we are hearing that, according to American and Japanese researchers, in only 10 minutes we can immediately improve the connections between the hippocampal-dentate gyrus and cortical areas associated with the detailed memory so critical to our daily functioning and well-being.

In other words, just think what we can do with all the time and energy no longer wasted on things like trying to find our keys.

But what is the connection between exercise and the brain? And why would that be?

Why is Exercise So Good for Us?

Why would exercise be as good for the brain as I first heard it was, years ago, from John Ratey, MD, who wrote A User’s Guide to the Brain.

In an earlier post, I quoted from an article entitled, “How being hunter-gatherers boosted human brainpower and taught us to love exercise”:

New research suggests that the link between exercise and the brain is a product of our evolutionary history and our past as hunter-gatherers, and the same parts of the brain that are taxed during complex tasks such as foraging also benefit from exercise.

I talked then about something called Adaptive Capacity Model, to mean that when we were hunter-gatherers, 2 million years ago, we used our minds and our memories to make survival decisions about where to go for food and how to get back home—at the same time that we were exerting (exercising) our bodies over challenging terrain.

If this physical/mental complexity of foraging fortified the brain, and activated motivation and reward systems (and associated hormones) at the same time, no wonder that once we get into the swing of it, we’d rather do it than not.

That’s great. Once it becomes a habit, we don’t even have to think about, and it might even feel really good, especially when we are done.

Yeah but, how do you ‘get to habit’ if you are one of the ones whose habit is to not.

How Can We Get on the Stick and Love It Too?

HealthyPeople.Gov suggests factors positively associated with adult physical activity:

  • Postsecondary education
  • Higher income
  • Enjoyment of exercise
  • Expectation of benefits
  • Belief in ability to exercise (self-efficacy)
  • History of activity in adulthood
  • Social support from peers, family, or spouse
  • Access to and satisfaction with facilities
  • Enjoyable scenery
  • Safe neighborhoods

You can see that some of these are mindset based; as in, things we can employ immediately on our behalf. So, for example, they mention “History of activity in adulthood.”

Yes, the more we do it, the more we do it. But what about History of activity in childhood. Let’s look at that.

Take me. Since Covid I have fallen in love with biking, indoor and out. I hardly miss a day because of the habit it had already become to do something every day, whatever it was.

Pre-Covid I used to do dripping wet, daily, Latin Dancing workouts in a gym. What got me there, more than telling myself how good it was for me, was that my dear departed parents were Latin dancing trophy winners. It’s in the blood. So, it brought me, and in the way them too, alive.

A client of mine got going, also not as much by telling herself how good it was for her, as by reconnecting with how much she loved and missed the fiercely competitive soccer player she once was.

And another starting hiking again when he remembered how much he loved hiking with his parents when he was a kid.

For them, and for me, it really was “I get to” rather than “I have to,” reigniting the enjoyment and health benefits of the age-old survival connection between the body and the brain.

If you are not there yet yourself, no worries. You too can take a mental magic carpet ride back to a time and place when the physical was fun. Then you can graft that delicious memory onto whatever form of exercise best helps you to be the exerciser researchers believe we are all meant to be.

Give It A Go, Make it a Habit… See What Happens, Let Us Know What You Find.

And to work on this or something else, contact me at madelaine@madelaineweiss.com



Photo by Unsplash Kelly Sikkema

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Name: Madelaine Claire Weiss
Group: MindOverMatters, LLC
Dateline: Washington, DC United States
Direct Phone: 202-285-8644
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