Do you want to become more productive mentally? I do! Over the last few weeks I’ve been dragging like crazy, and have been trying to figure out why. I think I have it figured out…
A few months ago I started a diet/workout program and was able to lose about 30 pounds. I was feeling really good, and looking back it was really easy to concentrate during that time period. I would usually do about 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise sometime during the day, and about 1 hour of weight training at about 5:00 p.m..
The Falling Away From A Good Lifestyle
That ended about 2 weeks ago, and I have found myself falling back into my old habits of eating really bad food and not really exercising as much as I should. I’ve still been weight training 4 times per week, but haven’t been doing much cardiovascular exercise. I have been eating really bad foods: fast food, cake, brownies, soda, etc.
Could that be what’s been dragging my mental productivity down lately? After reading the following two studies, I believe it is!
- Workers More Productive After Exercise – American College of Sports Medicine
- The Benefits Of Exercise On Cognition – Pomona College
Positive Effects Of Exercise
These studies show that exercise improves our brain function, our ability to organize information, and our mental capacity for concentration. Periods immediately following exercise are the most productive.
Negative Effects Due To Lack Of Exercise
Lack of exercise effects negatively our memory function, learning ability, attention span, abstract thought process, perceptual ability, and creativity. As time goes on, lack of exercise leads to hypertension (high blood pressure), which magnifies the declines exponentially.
Effects Of Diets High In Fats And Sugars
The studies also show that diets high in fats and sugars decrease our brain function, as well as our organizational abilities. High-sugar diets are also a fairly accurate predictor of poor IQ scores in young children.
If you need some motivation for exercise, read that second study, it’s just scary!
My Experiment With Exercise And Diet
Since I really want to know if my bad diet and lack of exercise is what is making me less productive these last few weeks, I’ve decided to conduct an experiment. For this week, I won’t do any work until I’ve done 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. This means I’m going to wake up and go to the gym, and then do my work after. I’m also not going to eat any sugar this week and watch my fat intake carefully. I will be weight training 4 times this week; I always do that anyway.
If you want to know how it’s going, watch for updates in the afternoons. I will be paying close attention to my abilities to think clearly, process information, write, and organize my daily tasks. I will still be publishing my regular articles in the morning at 7:00 a.m. MDT., nothing will change as far as that goes!
I’m hoping that I can use this experiment to become more productive. If it works, I really hope that some of you can use this information to do the same!
Lol I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I wrote this post – definitely not like anything I would write now!