Regular Physical Exercise Makes You Smart and Healthy

One step at a time. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)
One step at a time. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)

Who wouldn’t like to be smart and healthy?

An article in the Scientific American Mind (July/August 2009), titled “Fit Body, Fit Mind?” says your workout makes you smarter and you stay sharp into old age.

“We are used to thinking of intelligence as largely a matter of genetic inheritance, but that is not the whole picture. What you do affects your mental wellbeing: staying physically and mentally active helps us stay sharp as we age,” says the article. Your brain and body – either use it or lose it.

A review of dozens of studies shows that maintaining a mental edge requires more. Other things you do – including participating in activities that make you think, getting regular exercise, staying socially engaged and even having a positive attitude – have a meaningful influence on how effective your cognitive functioning will be in old age, says the article.

Sometime ago, researchers from Denver presented their research at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies. Their conclusion: being more physically fit means kids will do better in school. They found that this can be achieved by increasing school’s physical education program to 40 minutes a day, five days a week, from 40 minutes once a week. The performance improved by about 70 per cent. Amazing!

A healthy and smart child will one day become a parent and hopefully instill the same kind of healthy attitude to the future generations. A person can workout at school, at a public or private gym or at home.

To be smart and healthy one has to have enough sleep everyday. Sleep scientists say that we need one hour of sleep for every two we stay alert. This allows the brain to regenerate and repair itself. A student needs that to stay fresh and study more. A good night’s sleep also makes driving safe.

To be smart, a student has to study. Without studying you don’t get the grades. So how many hours should one study? That requires time management skills. We all have 168 hours in a week to use as we wish. Common sense says that more time you spend studying better your academic performance will be.

Most universities recommend that students study at least two hours outside of class for every hour spent in class, although some recommend even more.

Finally, boost your memory and brainpower with healthy food like fruits, vegetables and fish.

It is not difficult to be healthy, happy and smart. Mental and physical power depends on how much time and effort we put into it. Have fun.

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