Brain and Exercise

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Is it a mainstream agreed fact that our brains can only grow or we became smart only if we have regular exercise?

Meaning if you never exercise.. your brain can't be optimal and you would have difficulty understanding physics and math?

What kind of exercise do you do? I heard it should be something that should make you perspire. I am lazy exercising.. but if it's proven only exercise can make your brain understand physics and math well.. then I must exert all effort and head to the gym.

Maybe many famous physicists love mountain climbing because that's how their brains become more developed than the non-active physicists?
 

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  • #2
BillTre
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No.
An example to the contrary would be Stephen Hawking.

Exercise would probably help many though.
 
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No.
An example to the contrary would be Stephen Hawking.

Exercise would probably help many though.
Maybe that was why Hawking hadn't figured out the nature or secret of information loss in the black hole?
 
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Exercise is good for the whole body, and the brain is part of it.
Lack of exercise and it's consequences rapidly developed into a problem in early space flights.
Crew of the ISS now have to comply with a pretty strict exercise regime,
Personally I do a 2km walk every day, (more sometimes).
There is always something brain stimulating going on during the walk
 
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we became smart only if we have regular exercise?
Some physical activities in childhood are necessary to develop certain (fine motor) skill: this affects brain usage/intelligence too. If this kind of early development is lacking then it is hard to make up to it later on, but some kind of progress still said to be possible. Maybe you can consider this as some kind of 'exercise' relevant to your question.

But in general, physical exercise for adults is not about becoming smart, but about maintaining a condition so your body won't negatively affect your brain usage (and/or about delaying problems coming with age or certain illnesses).
 
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I forgot the title of this book. The theory was that our brain evolved while our ancestors were constantly on the move from trees to trees.. so our brain learns to grow neurons only if there is physical activity. This means if you sit down all the time.. your brain won't sprout new neutrons compared to say mountain climbing activities done by majority of physicists.. how true is the theory?
 
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berkeman
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I forgot the title of this book. The theory was that our brain evolved while our ancestors were constantly on the move from trees to trees.. so our brain learns to grow neurons only if there is physical activity. This means if you sit down all the time.. your brain won't sprout new neutrons compared to say mountain climbing activities done by majority of physicists.. how true is the theory?
It would be best if you could find the "book" with a Google search. Either it is wrong, or maybe you misunderstood what it was saying. AFAIK, growing new neurons in the adolescent/adult brain is a bit controversial at the moment. Perhaps they were talking about the reinforcement of inter-neuron electrical connections that happens with active learning...
 
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  • #8
WWGD
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Doesn't thinking require (condition of ) oxygen? Thing is, re Hawking, without being cruel, he was essentially just a brain, since he was unable to do much more, so few resources were distracted from his thinking.
 
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symbolipoint
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Endurance exercising, like jogging was good for me. Becoming tired during study is a problem for learning. Being less tired or not yet being tired during study helps learning; or at least that's what I remember based on personal experience. Also, during some 'long' jogging sessions, I remember my mind reviewing things that I was currently studying. The mind was getting stimulated during the jog, even though no book or paper was present. I'm not sure what to say about strength work - I don't believe my mind went onto things I was currently studying; it only happened during jogging. Maybe some people react differently.
 
  • #11
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become smart only with exercise is obviously wrong, but thats bcause we define smart in a complex way that includes a lot of different types of mental specs (memory, quickness to learn abstract concepts, ability to change tasks efficiently, ability to overcome cognitive bias / introspection, etc).

Whereas what the associated studies are measuring is one or two of these variables in a limited selection of specific tasks. Does it have some influence? Probably. Is it more significant than genetics, developmental, and societal influences? Probably not.
 
  • #12
WWGD
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In theory, intelligence, as measured by IQ, is not fixed, according to Carol Dweck from UC Berkeley.
 

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