Experiment – Mental Productivity and Exercise

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 CognitionPomona 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!

Health Stuff:

Best Weight Loss Medication, fast food coupons, more fast food coupons

Lol I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I wrote this post – definitely not like anything I would write now!

Comments 14

  1. While a high sugar diet obviously had no affect on my IQ as a child 🙂 I totally agree that eating healthy can effect you in just a few days. One bad day here and there doesn’t affect you much but a bad day here, here, here, here, etc. really starts to take you down.

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      I definitely agree with that! Lately I’ve been having a bad day here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here , and here. 2 weeks of bad days and I’m feeling it!

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  2. I can attest to the benefits of exercise. I honestly believe my regular exercise routine got me though my first year of law school.

    However, I noticed that when finals came around, I stopped exercising and started pigging out. It was mainly due to stress. I should have just stuck with my plan. I’m sure it would have helped on my tests.

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      Good to hear that it worked for you! I hope that it works for me, lol. I was doing feeling a lot better when I was exercising, so I’m sure I’ll get it back!

  3. Court,

    Big props to you for helping people to understand that the importance of exercise goes beyond just losing weight.

    After spending 3 years working as a personal trainer, I can’t tell you how many times I had to beat my clients over the head with the actual HEALTH benefits, because everyone just wanted to lose weight!

    Congratulations on getting your new program going and I’ll look forward to reading your updates.

    – Aaron

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      It seems like there are a million benefits of exercise. I don’t know why I let myself get lazy sometimes!

      I actually am pretty good most of the time, I’ve had a good exercise year. I just have to keep on truckin’. 🙂

  4. Coffee and exercise help me work better (not at the same time). If I’ve exercised I don’t want to waste all the hard work by eating junk food. I recently did a post about running, because it doesn’t cost anything and it’s good thinking time.

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  5. I find that during my exercise sessions my creative juices flow. Several years ago I was making a short film and hit a creative block. I won’t say I was depressed, but it wasn’t a happy time. I was consumed with the project and wasn’t exercising, but for some reason, I began exercising again and I remember the moment very clearly – I had a rower set up in the living room and half-way through my routine, all the final scenes of my film fell into place. It was magical. “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind”

  6. Pingback: Afternoon Update | Exercise Experiment - Day 1 | Internet Marketing | Strategy & Services

  7. Coffee and exercise help me work better (not at the same time). If I’ve exercised I don’t want to waste all the hard work by eating junk food. I recently did a post about running, because it doesn’t cost anything and it’s good thinking time.

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