Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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Forces presence.
As we know from Kara Zimmerman’s brilliant brain insight, your brain craves novelty. It pays more attention to the new and less to the habitual. Ever drive along in the car, on the same old route, and you zone out until you’ve reached your destination and realize you hadn’t paid attention for the last four miles? Working out, especially frequently changing up your routine, will create presence in your brain. Focused on one new task (even if it’s just lifting weights in a new way), your brain will be building brand new neural pathways and dropping you into the present moment.

Building mental toughness paves the way to success. Sticking it out, being resourceful, developing resilience – all of these things are what make someone mentally tough. Getting to the gym or group class on a regular basis, especially when you are not in the mood, requires grit. And according to one researcher from the University of Pennsylvania, “grit – the perserverence and passion to achieve long-term goals – [makes all the difference.]”

barimicroDiscovering new music in class rewards your brain. Ever get into a class and think, I am just here for the playlist. I’m definitely someone who needs music to pump me up and keep me going throughout the most difficult workouts, and it turns out that this is actually giving my brain the gold star. And gold stars make everyone feel good. This study suggests that the same reward center activated during sex or eating your favorite food is activated when listening to some good tunes. So get yourself to class and pump up the volume.

Decreases your risk of dementia. Everyone knows that working out has a zillion and one physical benefits. But did you know that by just logging a few more minutes of exercise to your daily routine means you can help prevent dementia? So play those brain games (I like crosswords as much as the next geek), but don’t forget that your heart health and brain health are connected.

photo 2Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands. Did Legally Blonde teach you nothing?! Well if you’re looking for more evidence, look no further. Creating happiness in your life is an ongoing part of the journey, just like physical health, you never just arrive. All it takes is one day at a time to a happier, healthier mind. And as we’ve heard many times before, what you do with your day is what you do with your life.

 

You become a better leader. Risk-taking makes you a better leader, and often times exercising (especially in a group setting) feels like a risk. Trying something new, putting yourself in a position to learn rather than to already know, forbidding your fears from keeping you static and stuck has been acknowledged as a critical element of leadership. Want to be the boss of your life? Get up and move.

In what ways do you notice fitness improving your mind?

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