This week on Winning In Life, Angus Pryor the Practice Growth Specialist will be sharing with you about exercise – can exercise make you smarter?
Today we’re going to look at some recent research in the field of what’s called neuroplasticity and then answer the question, can exercise makes us smarter? Now with my team this morning, we watched a video from a guy, a neurologist called Philippe Douyon. He released a book called “Neuroplasticity: Your Brain’s Superpower.”
Now what is neuroplasticity? Well, the word neuro relates to the brain and plasticity is about things being moldable and bendable. And it’s quite an interesting field, as a matter of fact. He said on the video that, you know, in years gone by, we just assumed our brain pretty much was the way that it is.
But now there’s a lot of research that shows that in fact, you know, our brain is very dynamic and changes all the time. We have these little things called neurons. And we’ve got 100 billion of those and they are changing all the time. There’s another expert in neuroplasticity that I’ve heard, called Carolyn Leaf, who says that, in fact, when we have a thought that now with scanning and such they can actually see it in your brain.
And interestingly, a positive thought is sort of fluffy and pink apparently. And a negative thought is kind of actually dark and sort of shrivelled looking. I can literally see this in your brain. Anyway, returning to the question then, because basically what Philippe was saying is these neurons, and we have 100 billion of them, that we want to be doing things that create more of them because that makes us smarter. And we want to be avoiding things that actually makes less of them.
Now the truth is that exercise in fact does create more neurons. So yes, exercising makes us smarter. And on the flip side, apart from, I suppose, there’s probably some recreational drugs, but one of the ones he mentioned was alcohol. Alcohol, wow, I can barely say it. No, I haven’t been drinking.
He said that alcohol in fact reduces our neurons. So yes, we can do some things that make us smarter like exercising, and believe it or not, alcohol actually reduces those neurons, arguably making us not as smart.