This I Believe

Ryan - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in active body, active mind. Not only is exercising a great way to vent everyday stress, but it keeps your mind more alert than the average couch potato. And I’m not just talking about just going to the gym to get your swell on.. You can hit to the brain gym too.. Crossword puzzles, soduku, whatever. Brain workouts can keep your mind thinking analytically, which allows for quicker, more efficient problem solving skills – an asset most companies look for in future employees.

Now you don’t have to be some kind of fitness freak. Keep eating chalupas, they are delicious. But in a recent study, people who exercised 4-5 times per week were 30 times less likely to suffer mental health issues such as stress, depression, emotional problems, etc. Not to mention that busting an intense sweat helps our bodies efficiently route oxygen to our hearts and brains and makes sleep so much better – no lie.

At the University of Illinois, researchers have found that three areas of the brain – the frontal, temporal and parietal cortexes – stay in better shape if a person keeps physically fit as they age. Research has even shown that old folks that regularly do crossword type analytical brain workouts are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s than those who are addicted to the home shopping network.

Switching gears – this idea of the “scholar-athlete” wasn’t just a marketing tactic made up by the NCAA. It actually dates back to the culture of ancient Greece, in which fitness was almost as important as learning itself. The Greeks were clued in on the mind-body connection. They realized that aerobic exercise helps the heart pump more blood to the brain, along with the rest of the body. More blood means more oxygen, and thus better-nourished brain cells – leading to a stronger, smarter society.

Personally, I feel a lot better after busting a sweat . I notice my productivity levels increase, and I feel much more motivated to get things done. So after hearing this active body, active mind motto, I have adopted it as one of my most current beliefs.

So if you are stressed out at school, mad at your boyfriend/girlfriend, or just want to perform better in school – go for a jog, a yog if you will. A soft J. Get the blood flowing, active body, active mind baby. You never know- Maybe you’ll see a drastic improvement in your mood/academics with a little help from Mr. Cardiovascular.