Physical fitness is a top priority for everyone, at any age and any level of experience, in order to stay healthy. While physical fitness is important, intellectual fitness is also necessary.
If physical fitness is achieved by regular exercise, like endurance activities, resistance training, balance exercises, or flexibility exercises, then intellectual fitness involves exercising your brain, in order to stay mentally fit.
While we’re doing our best to stay active at home, we strongly encourage everyone to keep up their Intellectual Fitness as well.
What is Intellectual Fitness?
Intellectual Fitness or ‘Cognified Fitness’ is a combination of physical and cognitive training, and keeps your brain fit and healthy. Physical exercise which utilizes intellectual thinking keeps you mentally sharp, and helps in avoiding neurological disorders like Alzheimer's or dementia, as you age.
To make exercise programmes more fun and engaging, we can set tasks that involve several cognitive functions, working simultaneously with physical activities.
Here Are Some Fun Ways to Include Cognified Training in your Exercise Regime
Try multitasking, performing a physical activity along with an unrelated cognitive task. Here are a few examples:
- Walk while counting backwards from 100.
- Perform exercise set repetitions while naming words starting with the letter ‘K’.
- Carry out calculations or multiplication tables in your mind while jogging.
Your brain is filled with blood, oxygen, glucose and positive neurotrophins which enhance cognitive performance and improve your attention. A key element in this training is to follow a workout at moderate-to-vigorous intensity.
Imagine that the room is a huge clock and you are standing in the middle of the clock face. Let your trainer call out a time, and you need to step or lunge towards that time on the clock. Return to your starting position quickly.
You can also include variations like stepping with your left foot on even numbers and right foot on odd numbers, or performing different movements at different times, like a lunge at 12:00 or a jump squat at 3:00.
Training your spatial orientation helps enhance auditory, memory, reaction time, balance, dual-tasking, coordination and other neurological workouts based on the variations you create and perform.
Can a children’s game increase your cognitive strength? Of course! On the easier end of the intensity scale, these workouts still enhance your cognition through exercise. Have a ‘Simon’ who gives commands that you need to perform: one physical activity + a mental sum.
E.g. Simon Says:
- Jump the total of 4+9 (13 jumps)
- Squat the answer to 10-3 (7 squats)
It is necessary to understand that this is a new trend and the need for enhancing mental health with the help of physical exercise is still being researched upon. The intricate connection between the physical activity and cognition can thereby improve your overall health.