Work Your Body to Have a Better Brainstorm
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.