Cardio promotes mental focus and acuity? True for you?

  • Djmaxvayo

    Posts: 18

    Apr 11, 2011 3:57 AM GMT
    So I'm curious what others' experiences have been regarding high-intensity, long-duration cardiovascular exercise. For me, these kinds of workouts seem to promote unparalleled mental focus and acuity. What I have noticed, specifically, is that after a high-intensity, lengthy aerobic workout (cycling), my speed, accuracy, and focus when practicing the drums is significantly heightened. I know about the biology of what is happening, but I'm curious what other guys have experienced. Thoughts? Comments?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2011 9:09 AM GMT
    I forgot what I was going to type ...
  • SomeSiciliano...

    Posts: 543

    Apr 11, 2011 4:18 PM GMT
    Very true for me...thats why I do my cardio early in the morning now and lift in the afternoon. Its better than coffee icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2011 4:21 PM GMT
    I get it from weight lifting (endorphin buzz) but not so much from cardio.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Apr 11, 2011 5:10 PM GMT
    Long cardio (runs, bikes or swims) give me much needed mental processing time. I usually have some of my best and most creative ideas and it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Apr 11, 2011 5:20 PM GMT
    I used to run when I was in my twenties ( before back problems made it a poorer choice for cardio) and there was a brief period when I found it more convenient to take my runs between elenen o'clock at night and midnight. I had to quit. I couldn't sleep. My body would be loose and relaxed and ready for bed but my mind was wide awake; not hyper or juiced, but just exceptionally clear and alert.

    The OP knows more about the physiology of this than I do. In some part I think it has to do with rhythmic deep breathing. I find a similar (though more calming) effect with the ujjayi breathing done in yoga practice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2011 5:31 PM GMT
    I think cardiovascular workouts do promote mental acuity because that type of exercise sends oxygenated blood to all tissues, including the brain. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think experts have found that good cardiovascular workouts are more effective than the latest rage - mental teasers and so-called exercises for your brain - for keeping senility and Alzheimer's at bay.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2011 5:54 PM GMT
    I have to say that I feel at my best when I am doing cardio regularly. It might be because I get better sleep but it also be because cardio releases other beneficial chemicals from your brain much like laughing does. It definitely notice a difference when I do or don't do cardio.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2011 2:10 PM GMT
    alexus8888 saidPlease click the "Report Spam" link under my post because I'm a stupid bitch.
    Ok, clicked. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2011 2:12 PM GMT
    It does slow down the brain for me, which is why I do it before I go to bed.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 16, 2011 10:31 AM GMT
    I'd say, yes. I usually get some great ideas on projects I'm working on having done cardio. It's refreshing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 16, 2011 10:50 AM GMT
    Yes, it comes together for me after about 45 mins of cardio.

    If you're an example of high-intensity, long-duration cardio, then I'll take your word for it! icon_smile.gif
  • tcmdoc

    Posts: 13

    Apr 21, 2011 1:58 AM GMT
    I'm with you completely - I used to go on long runs the day before big exams or comps. They definitely help me get the blood moving to my brain, help process whatever I'm mulling over, and just lift me out of a bad mood if I feel like I'm in one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 21, 2011 5:49 PM GMT
    Hmm... not sure about this. Generally when I go for a ride, my mind just focuses on the ride. The traffic, the wind, the hills, the gears, the pace. It's a break from thinking about 20 different projects, taxes, and bills. In the long run, I think it helps by clearing off the mental desk. If I get tired, I tend to focus on more mechanical tasks for the rest of the day, not things that require much mental precision.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    Jun 30, 2011 11:40 PM GMT
    Hi there,
    I completely agree with you.I run any where up to fifteen,sixteen miles a go,hard all the way,and have found the physical exhaustion stimulates my mind,slowing and deepening it`s thoughts.All the trivial surface fluff gets swept away.It does seem like a meditation.
    Several times after a run,at various times,I`ve suddenly had a eureka moment of revelation/solution of a problem.I think the repetitive nature of distance running does something to the way you/think/feel/perceive things.It`s one of the best tthings I`ve done in my life.All the best!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2011 4:52 AM GMT
    I agree with you. I'm an avid mountain biker and ride every chance I get for at least an hour. When I'm going at race pace, or near race pace, my mind does 1 of 2 things.

    1. My mind will be 100% focused at the task at hand. (Pedal faster, smoother, avoid that tree, jump, get off the saddle, drink water, etc). My mind drowns everything else out and is just focused on the trail. I find this therapeutic because I can forget about everything else going on in my life. It's an escape from reality for an hour or two. When I'm done, it mind tends to stay this way and I'm usually productive afterwards.

    OR

    2. I won't be 100% focused on the trail, and I'll be planning other things. I'll be thinking about a solution to a problem I've encountered at work (I'm a software engineer), or I'll be planning my next race, or planning something else. I'll also think about tasks I need to complete at work or errands I need to run this week, etc. It's weird because my mind will retain this all this information for several hours, and I may or may not have to make notes after I'm done.

    It's strange because they seem to be the opposite of each other, but I find it refreshing no matter what happens. The mind is a strange like that I guess.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2011 5:11 AM GMT
    Sometimes...I seem to be more alert whenever I'm training.
  • Zcube

    Posts: 40

    Jul 13, 2011 7:23 PM GMT
    I agree with everyone. Cardio does help make my mind more focused, if not more energized and clearer. So on those days that I feel my mind is muddled by too much going on, i go to the gym and attend a cardio class, usually zumba since i teach it too. haha.

    When I'm in the zone it feels amazing. I'm not focusing on any problems, my mind is clear and I feel like what is happening is right there in front of me, not outside, in front, behind, history or future. And I tend to be a happier person overall; people are more likely to talk to me and make friends with me.

    I think there's definitely a positive energy field that comes out after a good workout.