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Study Says If You Don’t Like Exercising, You Might Have Higher Intelligence

Study Says If You Don’t Like Exercising, You Might Have Higher Intelligence

Despite the innumerable resolutions you have made in the past, if you have been unable to create an exercise routine or stick to one, unlike your friends, no worries! – it may just mean you are more intelligent than them!

Why? Maybe It Is Because People with Higher Intelligence Don’t Get Bored Easily

New research from a US based study [1] highlights an unusual trend – the physical sacrifice behind thinking! The researchers set out to discover the link between thinking and physical activity in the everyday lives of people. To their amazement, they discovered that the cleverer you are, the less tendency for you to be active!

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This study supports the theory that people with higher intelligence don’t get bored easily and they spend more time physically lazing around while engaged in active thought. Their active counterparts, on the other hand, seem to require physical stimulation of their minds using external activities as they get bored quickly.

The Study of ‘Thinkers’ and ‘Non-thinkers’

Led by Todd McElroy from the Florida Gulf Coast University, a group of researchers conducted a test about three decades ago! A group of students were asked to fill out a ‘need for cognition’ questionnaire that required its participants to rate how strongly they agreed with the given statements such as “I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to problems,” and “I only think as hard as I have to.”[2]

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Based on the answers, the researchers chose 30 ‘thinkers’ and 30 ‘non-thinkers’ from among the participants. The selected candidates were asked to wear a wrist device, an accelerometer, that tracked their movements and activity levels. By analyzing this constant stream of data, the researchers were able to discover that during the 5-day work week, the thinking group was far less active than the non-thinkers. But the activity levels during the weekends showed no difference between the two groups.

The researchers suggested that non-thinkers were more physically active as their minds could not keep them occupied, so they turn to physical activities to overcome boredom and fill their time.

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The Downside to Being Brainier

Mr. McElroy warned brainier people that they should watch out for the negative impact of their lazier and sedentary lifestyles. No matter how clever you are, to maintain and improve your health, you must increase your overall activity levels.

One way for people with higher intelligence to overcome their tendency towards laziness is to appeal to their own intelligence. If they are more aware of their own lack of physical activity and of the health cost associated with inactivity, then these thoughtful people are usually able to change their mindsets and choose to be more active.

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A Word of Caution

This is definitely an interesting study that could offer the thinkers some justification, but the results are best taken with a grain of salt due to the small sample of participants in the study. As it featured just 60 people, the result may be confined to a specific culture or just the student population in that culture and, as a generalisation, probably does not extend to non-students or to other cultures.

Cognition or our way of thinking can influence our physical activity levels. Irrespective of the above-mentioned study results, there is surely enough scientific evidence that points to the adverse health effects of a sedentary life.

Many people assume that a quick visit to the gym will solve these problems. But that’s not the case. Though the gym visits do help, raising your overall daily activity level is more important.[3] Maintaining an ideal balance of physical activity not just improves your physical health, it improves your mental health and ultimately your quality of life.

Reference

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Published on October 17, 2019

How to Build Endurance Fast and Enhance Stamina

How to Build Endurance Fast and Enhance Stamina

Day to day we all suffer. Life is hard, have you ever got to work and just stopped right in front of the stairs and just absolutely dreaded the thought of having to go up to them? By the top, you’re out of breath, uncomfortable and sweating.

So, how to build endurance fast and enhance stamina? We will look into the tips in this article.

What Is the Best Exercise for Endurance?

When faced with any exercise venture, we will always ask ourselves “What is the best way to get to our goals?”

Really it does depend. Why do I say this?

There are a lot of variables as to what form of exercise I might recommend for you. Not to worry I just won’t leave it there. I’ll give you examples that will fit for many different scenarios.

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When recommending forms of cardio for people, you have to examine many things like, how long have they been training, their age, any injuries that were diagnosed by a medical professional and just some nagging pains that they may have from overly tight muscles.

When faced with someone who is very under trained, has worked years at a desk, and hasn’t trained in decades, I would recommend a non-impact form of cardio like a bike, elliptical, row, reason being that their muscles, tendons and ligaments aren’t used to bearing hundreds of pounds of impact that is caused every single time we jump, land, run. This same idea would go for someone who has any kind of arthritis in the knees, back etc.

When faced with running, and sprinting, I would recommend these modes of cardio to those clients that have experience with these forms of cardio, whether that be athletes or just casual runners; of course, assuming that they have good running technique and footwear. Without good running technique or footwear, you are bound to run into some sort of injury eventually.

Types of Cardio: LISS Vs HIIT, Which Is Better?

There are two main forms of cardio that people are familiar with or have heard of.

One of them is “LISS” which stands for low intensity steady state. This form of cardio wood be represented by a form of cardio that is not very taxing and doesn’t involve any sort of intervals. A good example would be walking on the treadmill on a slight incline and moderate paced walk that you are able to keep up for approximately an hour.

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Currently on fire, the very well known form of cardio “HIIT” which stands for high intensity interval training. This cardio is very intense and includes spurts of near maximal effort followed by a complete rest or active recovery (walking). Perfect example of a HIIT workout would be interval sprints, sprinting maximal effort for 20 seconds followed by a minute of walking (1:3 work to rest).

Now that you know what they are, you may be asking which one is better for you. And the answer is, both! Both will build your endurance and when we combine both of them into your training protocol, you will build your endurance and stamina even faster than just using one or the other!

Here’s a routine you can take reference of:

Mock Training Week (Novice Trainee)

  • Monday: HIIT sprint (1:3 work to rest) 20 min
  • Tuesday: LISS bike (slight resistance) 60 minute
  • Wednesday: LISS walk (outside if possible) if not slight incline light pace, 60 minutes
  • Thursday: OFF
  • Friday: HIIT row machine(1:2 work to rest) 20 minutes
  • Saturday: LISS walk (outside if possible) if on treadmill small incline, light pace
  • Sunday: OFF

*the allotted work to rest ratio will vary based on the level of physical fitness of the individual

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How to Build Your Physical Endurance

When building a customized cardio program, it is very important to know your baseline level of cardio done via fitness testing. These tests will give you a good measure from where you are starting, so you can easily measure your progress a few months down the road.

If you’re not familiar with exercising programming and really want to train efficiently and with good form, it would be a good idea to hire a Personal Trainer. The trainer will be familiar with performing these types of fitness test and can ensure they are being performed exactly the same each time to ensure accurate results. A Personal Trainer can also help you build a customized cardio program tailored to your goal of building endurance based on your current fitness levels.

How Endurance Is Actually Built

Endurance is actually built by challenging our base fitness of cardio which in turn build our Vo2 Max (most amount of oxygen we can use during exercise), which is the best measure of cardio/endurance.

In order to challenge our endurance, we must make our heart more efficient. A good measure to see if you are improving would be to do a run for 5 minutes at a certain speed on the treadmill and then measure your Heart Rate immediately after; then repeat that exact test 8 weeks down the road to measure your progress that way.

Another good way to measure our progress would be by increasing the difficulty of your workouts weekly/bi-weekly so you can see that you are progressing week to week.

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Final Thoughts

Besides the workout advice above, I suggest you combine all these following quick tips:

  • Eat healthy and unprocessed foods.
  • Challenge your cardio/endurance (train with intensity).
  • Train frequently.
  • Track your progress.
  • Get to a healthy body weight.
  • Build a good cardio program.
  • Have a goal.

Do these consistently because without sustainability, we will not see the most amount of results possible.

Great changes require consistency and hard work. Keep at it and follow your goals, results will come!

Featured photo credit: asoggetti via unsplash.com

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