MEN­TAL UP­SIDES

Mas­ter this gym­nas­tic sta­ple to boost your brain­power and push your­self for­ward at work * |

Men's Health (UK) - - In This Issue -

Find out why turn­ing your train­ing on its head can en­hance your cog­ni­tive pow­ers

It turns out that there’s more to hand­stands than show­boat­ing on In­sta­gram. A new study* sug­gests that, once mas­tered, the gym­nas­tic clas­sic can give you a men­tal edge at the of­fice. Af­ter 12 weeks of in­tense bal­ance train­ing, test sub­jects im­proved not only their abil­ity to show off, but also their short-term mem­ory. While many of the cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise re­late to the long-term goal of de­men­tia preven­tion, hand­stand train­ing of­fers re­wards in the here and now. Your quick think­ing won’t go un­no­ticed in meet­ings, or when your boss gives you an un­ex­pected grilling.

Sci­en­tists have long known that ex­er­cise pos­i­tively im­pacts our brains, but such ben­e­fits were largely linked to our car­diores­pi­ra­tory fit­ness. In this case, how­ever, nei­ther group was train­ing to im­prove their car­dio en­durance. The re­searchers spec­u­late that the cog­ni­tive boost was re­lated to the neu­ral path­ways con­nect­ing the vestibu­lar sys­tem (re­spon­si­ble for co-or­di­na­tion) with the hip­pocam­pus and pari­etal cor­tex (brain re­gions as­so­ci­ated

| with mem­ory and nav­i­ga­tion). By mas­ter­ing com­plex moves in the gym, you’ll strengthen these path­ways and trig­ger per­for­manceen­hanc­ing al­ter­ations in your brain. The cor­ner of­fice awaits. You can hand­stand-walk into it, if you like.

GIVE YOUR MEN­TAL SKILLS A LEG-UP

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