Here is the quick lesson on how to be smarter: Do something that has been shown to improve brain function until doing so becomes a habit. Then do another thing that boosts brainpower until that is a habit. Then eat something that is good for the brain. Then eat another brain food. With enough of these brain boosting practices and substances and habits you'll be noticeably smarter.

For the sake of this article I will use one example: exercise. Recent studies reported on at the annual Meeting Of The Society Of Psychophysiological Research in Montreal recently show immediate benefits from exercising, as well as long-term effects. It seems that exercise helps your brain work more efficiently right now and actually makes you smarter in the long run.

Subjects were tested beforehand in order to measure their thinking abilities. Then they ran on a treadmill for thirty minutes. When their heart rates returned to normal resting levels they took follow-up tests to compare with the first set. Participants were also connected to an electroencephalogram (EEG), in order to track their brain waves during the testing.

Exercise had increased the speed of their decision-making by a fraction of a second on average. It was enough to be considered significant. Scoring the tests also showed that the subjects answered more accurately after the exercise than before. Naturally, faster, better decisions could be considered a sign of faster, smarter brains.

Although the subjects were in their twenties, researchers think the findings will hold true for other age groups. Other research involving exercise has demonstrated that just ten minutes of moderate exercise each day can improve mood and reduce fatigue. Intelligence wasn't specifically tested, but it seems likely that less fatigue can mean clearer thinking. Make exercise a habit and you'll be helping your body and mind.

The Best Exercise To Be Smarter?

The science has mainly focused on jogging, but it's likely that running, bicycling, swimming, dancing and any other aerobic exercises will have a similar effect on brain function. Ten minutes of exercise is apparently enough to have effects on the brain, and it's not clear how much more benefit there may be with longer periods. Interestingly, though the scientists probably expected to confirm other research that has shown we get better brain function from long-term exercise programs, the study using treadmills showed an immediate effect too. Get up and run around right now, and you can be smarter in ten minutes. Do it several times weekly and the effect will be more lasting.

How do we determine the best exercise to do if you want to be smarter? You can wait for more research, but in my experience, walking is one of the best. Any aerobic exercise will increase blood flow and therefore oxygen and glucose delivery to the brain, which may help explain the results shown in the studies, but I think there is something more to walking. Perhaps it's the rhythmic and relaxing nature of it, but myself and many others find that our clearest and most creative thinking happens when taking a walk.

Walking, like other aerobic exercises, gives you better sleep, a healthier immune system, easier weight control, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes as well. The research now suggests that you can add better brain function to that list. Why not get out and take a walk today? Then, in accordance with the plan laid out at the start of this article, get busy with the next brainpower booster.

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