“Running won’t get rid of your problems, but it will run your problems away.”
Whilst I’m sure aiming to have brainwaves as strong as Einstein may be setting the bar a fraction too high, there is a secret that may just help you achieve those A*s. “What, what is it?! Tell me!!” I hear you cry, although I’m not sure the answer is what you’d expect. No, this isn’t one of those ludicrous ‘Sleep with your textbook under your pillow and all the facts will drift into your brain’ solutions; it’s much better. So, the golden solution to growing that brain of yours *drumroll please…*, is to grow those muscles. Yes, I know, exercise is pretty much my solution to everything, however, the geniuses of this world have come to the same conclusion.
So, what are the scientists saying? Well, they’ve encountered a distinct molecule – irisin, AKA the ‘fat-fighting exercise hormone’ – said to be produced in the brain during endurance exercise. Examples of endurance exercises include anything with a low, constant intensity, such as running, walking, swimming, cycling, and sports like football, hockey, tennis, netball and so on. Neuroprotective effects are this wonder-molecule’s super power. In a nutshell, these increase cerebral blood flow and oxygenation, giving the brain a huge helping hand. Being incredibly clever people, these researchers managed to artificially up the amounts of irisin in the blood. This resulted in activating genes linked with memory and learning. Chemistry revision: check.
Right, enough science-lingo, what’s my justification? Studying PE theory at school has taught me a whole lot about the benefits of fitness. And trust me, there’s a whole lot. Whilst we should be grateful for an education, the pressures that come with school can often link to unnecessary stress: a downward spiral which, if you’re not careful, might just swipe any chance of those A*s right from under you. Exercise releases endorphins and helps to dust away those stress hormones. Say hello to dopamine (AKA, the ‘feel good hormone’) and serotonin (call this one the ‘happy hormone’). Worried about mountains of homework? Concerned about an upcoming Maths exam? Lacing up you trainers and jogging a few laps around the park is going to be your best option.
To sum up, exercise is going to reduce the bad stuff and release a load of beneficial chemicals into your brain. Increasing your mood and flooding cells with blood and oxygen (not literally, but you get what I mean), you will be in the best state to learn and grow.
…You’re welcome. Now you can be the hero of the sports field as well as bagging the best grades. All you need to do is get off your butt and sweat.