Summer is usually the period of the year when people take a break from work and go on holiday. For someone this is also the perfect time of the year to start learning something new or to book a study trip.
For me, instead, Summer means energy. In fact, during this period, I’m more willing to try new things and, to do some physical activity.
If you are usually a little bit lazy, like me, you should know that according to research physical activity can actually improve not only your body but your mind too. So, you can learn languages faster.
Let’s see why physical activity can help you learn languages faster.
I’ve experienced this benefit on my own skin. Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins, allowing you to feel happier.
And happiness contributes to make you learn languages faster. Indeed, research has find out that when you’re happy, your brain is 31% more productive than when you’re stressed or in a neutral emotional state.
YOUR LEVEL OF STRESS DROPS
Physical activity triggers some chemicals that help you reduce your level of stress.
This is very important if you want to learn languages faster because research has shown that the brain of stressed people works differently than the one of relaxed people.
Indeed, it seems that both short-term stress and stress lasting for long periods stimulate cortisol, and corticotropin.
When these two hormones reach the hippocampus, the main area in the brain used to consolidate information, they impair cell communication.
As a consequence, both memory and brain’s learning abilities are reduced.
So, with some physical activity you will be able to improve your memory. If you’re interested in other ways to improve it, have a look at How to train your memory.
YOU SLEEP BETTER
Physical activity improves the quality of your sleep, allowing you both to fall asleep faster and to deepen your sleep.
This is important for two reasons. Firstly, if you don’t sleep well, your attention during the day is reduced, and so you cannot learn efficiently. Secondly, according to research sleep is involved in the consolidation of memory.
Indeed, it seems that during sleep recent memories are moved to the higher cortical centers, where they are then consolidated into long-term memories.
So, sleeping well can be definitely a good help for your brain.
YOUR BRAIN PLASTICITY IMPROVES
Finally, physical activity can improve brain plasticity and, consequently, also your learning abilities.
In fact, it seems that physical activity stimulates the growth of new neural connections which help your brain to stay sharp and think better.
HOW LONG SHOULD I TRAIN?
The good news is that you don’t have to run a marathon to experience the benefits of physical activity.
Researchers claim that it’s enough walking – at a moderate pace – for 30 minutes three times per week to experience the first results.
So, after all it seems that Hippocrates was right: “walking is man’s best medicine.”
What about you? What do you think about the link between learning and physical activity?
Original image by Dung_Dang