Un­lock­ing the cre­ativ­ity-boost­ing ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise

FEEL­ING CRE­ATIVE POST-WORK­OUT? IT’S JUST ONE OF THE MANY BEN­E­FITS OF EX­ER­CISE. HERE’S HOW TO WORK OUT BOTH YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND

Good Health (Australia) - - Contents -

Do you feel more cre­ative af­ter cer­tain kinds of work­outs? It might hap­pen when you go for a run, and come home feel­ing en­thused and in­spired. With your heart rac­ing and the sweat build­ing on your fore­head, your cre­ativ­ity is now un­blocked, and you get a rush of fresh ideas.

We all know ex­er­cise can ben­e­fit our pro­duc­tiv­ity at work – phys­i­cal fit­ness and men­tal clar­ity have a well-es­tab­lished link. All forms of ex­er­cise can stim­u­late brain-de­rived neu­rotrophic fac­tor (BDNF) in our brains. Stud­ies demon­strate that BDNF plays a role in learn­ing, mem­ory, and men­tal health, as well as help­ing to keep our brains fresh and young. It tar­gets the hip­pocam­pus, the part of our brain that helps us with for­ward think­ing, learn­ing, and cre­ative thoughts. The more we ex­er­cise, the more new cell growth we have there, and the more BDNF we pro­duce. The key to suc­cess­fully util­is­ing BDNF is tim­ing your work­outs so they align with your cre­ative ses­sions. If there’s some­thing you need peak cre­ativ­ity for, try not to let more than three hours elapse be­fore you switch from work­ing out your body to flex­ing your cre­ative mus­cles. If you need to har­ness your cre­ativ­ity at work, get your heart rate up early in the morn­ing to give your brain that boost it needs. For more hobby-ori­en­tated cre­ativ­ity like DIY home projects or com­ing up with new recipes, hit the gym on your way home to prime your mind for in­spi­ra­tion.

It’s not just bru­tal work­out ses­sions that prompt the en­dor­phins you need to help you out of a men­tal rut – sim­ple ex­er­cises work too, and the struc­ture of your work­out can also make a dif­fer­ence. We break it down for you.

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