Western culture has often identified man’s body and mind as two distinct entities, often also opposed to each other. All the most recent studies, however, lead to confirm exactly the opposite idea, namely that there is a very strong interdependence between our body and our mind (the term mind here indicates the complex of possibilities and intellectual and spirituality of an individual).
Fitness for mind
The stereotype depicts genius minds wandering the shelves of libraries and escaping the gym and sweat in every way. Nothing more wrong. Some research shows that kids who are regularly addicted to sports are better at math.
The constant practice of physical activity promotes alertness, agility and clarity of mind. Taking up an ancient Latin motto therefore Award-winning poker champion is also well aware of this, and in his interviews he often focuses on the theme of self-awareness and the relationship that clarity and alertness have with sport.
There are many studies showing that working out in the gym, even just 30 minutes a day three times a week has a massive positive impact on your life. Not only physically, but mentally, the secret of happiness is physical exercise. I think a lot of poker players are smart enough to understand that if they want to be happy they have to exercise. The best way to get out of depression is to do something, to practice.
In fact, poker players spend several hours sitting at the table and this has a profound effect on their lifestyle and the outcome of their game. This trend is common to a large part of Westerners who work daily in the office and are characterized by a strong tendency to be sedentary.
Fitness as a remedy for depression
Our muscles are closely linked to our brain activity. In fact, the human brain responds very positively to constant physical activity. The regular practice of moderate physical activity causes the nervous system to release a greater amount of endorphins, substances with powerful analgesic and exciting activity. In fact, constant exercise can be considered a valid remedy to combat some forms of depression.
Fitness to improve concentration and memory
Sport also seems to be able to significantly improve human intellectual performance. To explain the phenomenon, it is hypothesized that it is precisely the increase in blood circulation that positively influences the activity of the brain, helping to significantly oxygenate the brain areas that are home to our faculty of learning, attention and memory.
The more blood the brain flows, the more the brain tissue is nourished. According to some studies conducted by Columbia University in New York and the University of Illinois, physical exercise would increase the number of functioning brain neurons.
Some volunteers involved in the study, after walking, cycling or swimming 3 times a week for a year, had better results on memory tests.
It also seems that a protein known as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) develops in the same brain area activated by physical movement, capable of making nerve cells grow and prolong their existence.
Playing sports to be multitasking
According to a study by the University of Groningen (Holland), sporting activity helps to be multitasking. The Dutch researchers observed 109 people with dementia and divided them into three groups. The first group walked briskly 4 times a week for 30 minutes, the members of the second group walked briskly twice a week, combining this with two half-hour weight sessions, the third group did not follow any type of training.
After nine weeks, all patients underwent a series of tests that assessed their executive function, which measured their ability to reason, plan their action and therefore perform multiple tasks at the same time. Those who performed the most intense training obtained the best results.
Sports activity therefore improves memory, reduces stress, and helps to control hunger, fight depression and slow down the decline associated with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.