Will walking make you smarter?

By David Joel Miller.

Does brisk walking help you learn or should you rest up first?


Photo courtesy of Flickr (aka Kath)

Worldwide we are seeing the results of increases in body weight. Clearly being obese or overweight can seriously impact your health. We know that more exercise can help lose weight and may improve health but how much exercise is needed and the impact this might have on learning and memory is often overlooked.

The connection between exercise and the ability to learn may be a lot more significant than most people realize

As little as 10 minutes of brisk exercise in the form of walking can improve your ability to learn things. Unfortunately, most people do not recognize this relationship. Most of us rest after exercise and then try to study and learn when well rested.

We may be doing the whole exercise and learning behaviors backward.

One study, (Salas et al, 2011) reports that a brisk 10-minute walk improved college students ability to learn new material.

Unfortunately, the students in this study did not recognize that their learning had improved. Sometimes our own impression of how much we are learning turns out to be incorrect.

As those who practice yoga will tell you, exercise does not need to be painful to be helpful. The key to getting health benefits from this form of exercise is not speed or strength, but to breathe as you do it. Doing a pose or posture slowly and with breathing can result in significant health benefits.

So if you find that your concentration is waning, the answer may be a brisk walk rather than the traditional “break” from the thinking activity.

Turns out that we need a healthy body to help us with the tasks most of us think of as mental.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

You can recover. Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch. If you have gone through a divorce, break up, or lost a job your life may have gotten off track. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page or my Facebook author’s page, David Joel Miller. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.


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