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