Link Between Physical Fitness and Intelligence

You might not think the size of your stomach has anything to do with the size of your brain, but do physical fitness and intelligence have any relationship? You know smart people that are overweight; you might even be one of them – in that case, you can only speculate on whether your physical fitness and intelligence have anything in common. It should be known, however, that being overweight could make it harder to learn, and recent studies have proven it. Here are a few reasons why your physical fitness certainly does have some bearing on your ability to learn. This might provide some motivation to finally stop reading that book and get on the treadmill.

Study Says Obesity Could Speed Mental Decline

A recent study published in the journal Neurology shows a relationship between obesity (and several other present conditions) and faster rate of decline on cognitive tests. In this particular study, however, obesity was one factor in a combination of the following: 1. obesity; 2. hypertension (otherwise known as high blood pressure); 3. low HDL (“good” cholesterol); 4. high triglycerides or high blood sugar (2, 3, and 4 are known together as “metabolic abnormalities”). After taking brain functioning tests over a 10-year period, researchers found that those persons with obesity and metabolic abnormalities had a 23% faster rate of mental decline than healthy, normal weight participants. That’s some of the science. Now what about few ideas to get you thinking about some advantages under which you have control?

Every Journey Starts with the First Step

Most of us know the term “book smart.” You can read about martial arts all day long, but get caught alone at night in a dark alleyway … and, well, most perpetrators will not run and hide when you start reading your favorite glossary of martial arts terms.

There’s nothing wrong with being book smart, but if you’re really into rain forests and finding rare birds, sitting on the couch is poor preparation. Get outside. Grab your binoculars and find a nearby trail. Does this prove a link between physical fitness and intelligence? It depends … if you value experience to gain knowledge, but you’re not physically fit, good luck on that bird watching expedition.

If not birds, there must be some part of nature that you enjoy. Will reading a book about it enable all of your senses to become immersed in the beauty of it all. Maybe new questions will come up, new curiosities, topics of discussion for which you have never thought. Asking these questions could further stoke your passion for further learning. Physical fitness and intelligence don’t have much science to support this train of thought, but one thing’s for sure: you won’t see all of the new things in the world around you if you’re not physically able or willing to get outdoors.

Poor Fitness Can Lead To Extended Periods Of Irregular Sleeping

After you have a large meal, all you want to do is take a nap. While napping can be good for you on occasion, you should try to limit your sleep to seven to eight hours a night. If not, you are putting yourself in a vicious cycle that can be hard to get out of.

Surprisingly, when you sleep too much, your body tends to become tired. This leads to even more sleeping. When you are tired, you are not able to concentrate as much on whatever you are trying to learn. Sleeping too much can actually lead to a higher level of obesity in an individual.

If you become too large, other problems can start to form. You may not sleep as well as you could if you were in better shape. This means that you will start to suffer from issues that are typically seen in those who don’t sleep. You will be short with people, easily stressed out and it will be hard to concentrate because you will only want to sleep.

Those who don’t sleep enough will have trouble remembering things because they will not give the brain the time it needs to rest and store what you have learned. You will be a walking zombie who is incapable of learning as well as those around you. Getting even 30 minutes of exercise each day can correct any sleeping issues that you encounter.

It Is Hard To Learn While You Are In The Hospital

Time that you spend at the doctor’s office due to health issues will be time spent outside of the classroom. This can make it difficult to keep up with other students in class. If you are not able to keep up, you may start to think that you are not as smart as the other students.

Developing that mental standpoint can make it harder to do well in class. Instead of learning, you will be moping or trying to cope with your perceived lack of intelligence while also trying to deal with your health problems. You want to avoid that combination.

You also have to consider that passing physical education classes may be required to graduate to higher grade levels. Therefore, your lack of fitness will hold you back in your quest for a higher education. This is one direct impact of your inability to maintain even a basic level of physical fitness.

On the other hand, those who are physically fit tend to be more confident in themselves, have more friends and do better in school. It is most likely due to the fact that they set goals, work hard to achieve them and feel that hard work and sacrifice will get them wherever they need to go. It’s hard to argue with those who have experienced good things happening to them.

Overall, your level of fitness will impact your ability to learn. Those who are not healthy will have a hard time getting outside to enjoy the world around them. Instead, they will rely on what books and other sources tell them. Time spent outside of the classroom can result in lost learning time while not passing classes can keep you back. If you are having issues getting in better shape, talk to a doctor or personal trainer today. It can make you smarter as well as healthier.


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