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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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Anju Mobin

Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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Last Updated on February 6, 2020

10 Simple Morning Exercises to Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises to Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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