One of my clients told me they listened to a podcast interview of Sanjay Gupta. In the interview, Gupta mentions that intense exercise is good for the brain. My client asked me what I consider “intense exercise”. I’ve actually thought about this in the context of brain
I compare it a little bit to meditation. I don’t pretend to be an expert on meditation, but I understand that an important part of meditation is clearing your mind. I think there is value in simply clearing your mind of the busy thoughts of daily tasks that we keep in our heads all the time.
How does this relate to intense exercise? Let's go back to the original question: “What do I consider intense exercise?”
To maximize the benefit to your brain, I believe that exercise needs to be intense enough that you can’t think about anything but the hard work. If you can achieve this intensity then there is no room in your head to think of your grocery list or a work project that is due tomorrow. It’s a forced break from the stress of life.
This intensity can come in many forms. The obvious form is the image of yourself panting, out of breath, lying in a pool of sweat. You can also achieve this intensity through extreme focus. You might experience this when learning a new exercise that requires your full focus to do properly.
If you ever use exercise as an “escape” or a way to destress, consider these ideas when you plan your exercise routine. Try to make some of your workouts intense enough so you can ONLY think about the hard work.