Learning is more likely to stick if you incorporate more physical activity into your training sessions.

That’s the implication of a recent study that looked at the relationship between exercise and brain activity.

Scientists put rats on treadmills for one hour a day, six days a week and then examined their brains. The brains of the rats on the treadmill had more mitochondria – the power source for cellular activity – than sedentary rats. In other words, brain power increased with physical exercise.

What does this mean to a trainer? Well, for one thing, the old-fashioned get-up- and-stretch break during training sessions has a basis in scientific fact.

It also suggests that designing more physical activities into the training itself – for example, having people come to the front of the room to present to the group – will help combat brain fatigue.

Source: Steiner, et al., Exercise Training Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Brain, Journal of Applied Physiology, Aug. 4, 2011.

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