Exercise Your Right to a Better Brain

By Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Abnormal Brain from Young Frankenstein

"You used a brain from someone called Abby Normal?"

Kymberly: Do you want to increase your brain power right now, this minute, starting immediately or even sooner? If so, do you know what to do? If you guessed that some kind of exercise is involved in this answer, you are quite smarticle! And for maximum increase in your neuronal activity and literal brain growth, check out the elements that help the most.


Alexandra: Hold on a sec. What do you mean by “literal” brain growth? Is there some other type of brain growth? Are you saying if you exercise, you will have an “exceptionally large mind?”

K: Yes, I mean your brain will literally grow dendrites, extend axons, and branch out more like a social climber at a networking party.  While any of the following factors alone will enhance brain power, combining them into one Mega-activity will propel you above and beyond:

  • Engaging at least two senses simultaneously, such as touch and sight;
  • Listening for cues or commands;
  • Moving to music with polyrhythmic beats;
  • Following somewhat complex movement patterns;
  • Trying something novel.

Hmm, when you put all these elements together, does it make you think of any particular kind of workout? Like group fitness classes, for instance? Get thee to a classery (active people will recognize the reference cuz’ they’re so with it).

Oh, and another factor that aids brain growth is:

  • Getting sufficient sleep

Preferably not while engaging in the aforementioned group fitness workout.

A: Right after you finish your exercise, call your school and politely demand they make P.E. mandatory and daily! That way your kids will be as smart as you (only while they’re teens). We have a few favorite programs that combine the “smartener elements” so we’ll give them a shout-out right now:
Drums Alive & Academic Beats by Carrie Ekins (you can listen to our radio interview with her as of Oct 19 at http://www.womensradio.com/users/Kymberly-and-Alexandra-Williams-Evans/1022/episodes.htm!) Batuka Dance: We are getting all trained up in this so we can revisit our childhood dancing talents…(we use the word “talents” here fairly loosely, but our mom was a dance teacher, and we have the leotards to prove it). Any well-taught Step class. Why not attend Kymberly’s Step classes at Spectrum in Santa Barbara? No pressure! Maybe she’ll wear one of the leotards I saved for her.

Photo credits: Creative Commons avhell

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