Exercise really does boost brainpower
, was the conclusion of a recent analysis of 19 studies involving kids, teens and young adults published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine
. The study authors concluded that short workouts (10 to 40 minutes) led to an immediate improvement in cognitive performance and problem-solving. Break for a short recess about an hour before an afternoon meeting (which is probably just when you're starting to drag), and run up the stairs and do a few wall-sits. "The large muscles in the thighs and butt quickly get blood flowing to the brain," says John Ratey, MD, Harvard associate professor
and the author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
, reinvigorating it with oxygen, nutrients (like glucose) and performance-boosting chemicals. Ratey says that complicated moves like squat jumps, where you lift your arms above your head, are also a great way to activate your brain and turn on the cells you'll need for creative thinking and performance.