People should adhere to a regimen of at least thirty minutes of painfully difficult physical exercise seven days a week, with a strong aerobic component. To the undisciplined, this may sound like too much, even masochistic. But the true masochist is the person who fails to pursue the discipline of exercise.
There is only one way to create new brain neurons for a sharper mind later in life: physical aerobic exercise: “new neurons are produced in the brain throughout the lifespan, and, so far, only one activity is known to trigger the birth of those new neurons: vigorous aerobic exercise.”1
Thirty minutes a day of focused and painfully difficult exercise immediately gives you more mental energy and more physical energy. It gives you deeper peace of mind, a more balanced flow of serotonin and other healthy brain chemicals, a stronger more focused mind, increased clarity and alertness, stronger heart, less chance of heart attack or stroke, increased sexual ability, better circulation, reduced toxins, reduced likelihood of diabetes, reduced likelihood of cancer, stronger immune system, better and deeper sleep every night (again boosting immunity), easier time waking up every morning, and less physical discomfort doing everyday activities. You will have a happier, stronger, sharper mind as well as a healthier, stronger body in every way.
To recap, failing to follow the thirty-minute discipline of physical exercise, you have chosen to have more anxiety, more depression, no new brain neurons, less energy, a weaker less-focused mind, unbalanced brain-chemical flow, deficient sexual abilities, weaker heart, greater risk of heart attack and stroke, increased likelihood of cancer and diabetes, reduced circulation, weaker immune system, troubled sleep, a harder time getting out of bed every morning, and more physical discomfort doing everyday activities. Clearly, the undisciplined one is a self-destructive masochist. If you are an average American, your main obstacle from breaking free of masochistic deterioration is TV.
So don’t be a masochist. Take the easy way out—turn off the TV and practice thirty minutes of painfully difficult physical exercise seven days a week.
1Melissa Dahl. “How Neuroscientists Explain the Mind-Clearing Magic of Running” Science of Us, New York Magazine, April 21, 2016.
This entry is from my book
Call of the Active Mind
© copyright Robert Rose-Coutré 2009, 2011, and 2012