“All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” This quote from Buddha probably confirms what you hear all the time: your mind is powerful. Purely by changing the way you think, research shows that you can increase your amount of happiness, empathy, and self-confidence. And with your “powerful” mind, you bring yourself to HIIT sessions every week to get your body stronger and more powerful. But have you ever wondered how the two connect with each other? If you’re naturally smart, are you more apt to have an easier time getting fit? What about vice-versa; does getting fit help your brain function more efficiently?
Mind over matter: For one, the way you currently think about something, say exercise, helps to define how you’ll continue to think about it in the future. An article on highexistance.com explains it like this: the cells in your body each have receptors, which are each specific to one peptide. When we feel things like sadness, happiness, excitement, sadness, guilt, or gratefulness, our system gets flooded with peptides that match that emotion. When your body is constantly flooded with, say, happiness, the new cells that form will automatically have more happiness peptide receivers. In short: even on a cellular level, positivity breeds positivity, even when it comes to exercise. So those happy thoughts about burpees you have today? They can lead to a lasting healthy habit in the future.
Matter over mind: Are you wondering if being a high school straight-A student will give you an edge with fitness? After all, you’ve gotta milk that for all it’s worth, right? Well, while it might be true that getting fit takes the same amount of dedication stamina as does studying for exams, your freakishly high IQ won’t get you any further in the studio. However, if it makes you feel any better, exercise may actually improve your cognitive ability. While researchers have known this for decades, it’s been recently determined that exercise can help the brain in a very specific way. There’s a molecule called irisin that is produced in the brain during exercise, which is thought to activate learning and memory.
Also, exercise can help sharpen focus for up to 2 hours after the workout has ended, says author Dr. John Ratey in his book, “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.” What’s more, exercise has also been found to improve memory, help impulse control, and increase productivity.
And for what it’s worth, it’s important to keep in mind the impact that your self-talk can have on your exercise quality. Those negative words you say in your head can show themselves in your energy level, your stamina, and your strength during class. Not to mention that, as we learned above, too many negative thoughts will multiply themselves in your brain through the peptide connections they perpetuate.
We always encourage you to come to our 36-minute sessions with a positive attitude. And as you can see, this is for good reason. It’s likely to mean a better workout for your body and mind, as well as a more positive experience for your fellow classmates.