Friday, January 29, 2010

A New Muscle to Exercise

Did you know the brain has muscles and if you wanna lose weight, exercise more, or whatever, you have to exercise your prefrontal cortex. And just how do you exercise your brain? No, it’s not by using it – it’s by NOT using it as much. What a revelation. I’ve been having issues the past month or so with eating. I can’t stop! The bottomless pit opens and no amount of food will fill it. I have zilch willpower and just keep shoveling it in. Luckily, the scale has been holding its own because I try to workout to compensate for the extra calories. But this is NOT what I wanted – the scale is supposed to be going down. So I google “willpower” this morning and I find this very interesting article on brain overload and how it affects willpower. Here’s a quote from the article.

The brain area largely responsible for willpower, the prefrontal cortex, is located just behind the forehead. While this bit of tissue has greatly expanded during human evolution, it probably hasn't expanded enough. That's because the prefrontal cortex has many other things to worry about besides New Year's resolutions. For instance, scientists have discovered that this chunk of cortex is also in charge of keeping us focused, handling short-term memory and solving abstract problems. Asking it to lose weight is often asking it to do one thing too many.

Ironically, I’ve been super-busy at work and have taken on several new responsibilities that keep me hopping and require me to remember and gather a ton of information. Some days, I leave work mentally exhausted. After reading this article, I believe there’s some truth to the saying “working too hard.” My brain is working too hard and its overloaded and under-exercised! So the next time your boss sees you sitting and staring at a blank wall, tell them, “I’m exercising boss.” What a great excuse to sit and stare.

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