When you’re working out, are you using your brain?
According to Dr. Michael Merzenich, author of, “Soft-Wired – How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life“, chances are you’re NOT. All that jogging, swimming, walking and weightlifting may be good for your muscles and cardiovascular system but they aren’t doing much for your noggin. Ouch.
Merzenich explains that the typical workout with ear buds in place, eyes glued to a screen, or simple motion repetition does little to support brain health. To engage your brain:
Unplug! Use all of your senses. Notice what you are feeling, what is going on around you, what you see, smell, taste, etc. Remember what it felt like last time. Pay attention.
Incorporate balance, stability and flexibility in a single exercise rather than isolate movements that work on only one element.
Change it up. Try different ways of doing and achieving the same thing.
Remember. If your workout is mindless, it’s probably also BRAIN-LESS.