There has been some fascinating research that shows that your brains function better after you have activated it with exercise. Dr. Art Kramer’s lab showed that children who did aerobic exercise for 20 minutes before writing math tests improved their scores and that the children who did exercise regularly had different brain structures than those that were less active. The regions of the brain that had larger volumes in the exercise group were related to attention control, cognitive control and response resolution. These are all centres of the brain that help in maintaining attention and the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply.
Another study by Dr. Josie Booth from Dundee University of 5000 children in the UK found that 15 minutes of exercise improved performance in math by about a quarter of a grade and that the increments in performance continued right up to 60 minutes, meaning that by doing a 60 minutes of activity it is possible to boost academic performance by a full grade (i.e. from a B to an A).
So if you’re a student looking to biohack your way to better grades, then you need to do some exercise before your mental task to supercharge your brain and improve your performance. If you do the exercise regularly you’ll change your brain to make it better at doing cognitive tasks. Imagine that you can do better at calculus without actually doing more calculus homework! I wish I would have known that in Grade 12…
Today's POWER-UP: Move strategically
EXERCISE PRIMES THE BRAIN FOR MENTAL PERFORMANCE. IF YOU HAVE AN IMPORTANT THINKING-RELATED TASK TO DO DURING THE DAY – FOR EXAMPLE, A PRESENTATION OR AN EXAM – TRY TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO DO SOME LIGHT EXERCISE BEFORE THE EVENT.
GO FOR A WALK BEFORE YOU PRESENT. DO A FEW FLIGHTS OF STAIRS BEFORE THAT EXAM. IF YOU NEED TO SOLVE A PROBLEM BLOCK OFF SOME TIME TO GET FOCUSED AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU WALK, STRETCH, OR LIFT SOME WEIGHTS IN THE HOUR BEFORE YOU SETTLE IN TO WORK ON THE CHALLENGE.