We are still on the subject of random decision-making (as this is the theme of our website), and today we will look at yet another technique that help you make tough choices in important situations. Today’s technique is one that has been largely ignored in our culture: exercise.
Rising cases of obesity (even in children) and issues of joints, muscles, and blood circulation all owe themselves to an inactive lifestyle. Too much time sitting in the office and then in front of the television doesn’t only make us physically weak and lazy, but also impacts the brain negatively, which is not an optimal condition to be in if you need to make random decisions all the time.
Research shows that both regular exercise and sudden bursts of physical activity aid in decision-making.
Writers, intellectuals, and thinkers are regularly seen putting this technique into practice, i.e. whenever they are facing a tough challenge or need to think clearly, they go out for a walk (or a jog or bike ride). This increases blood flow to the brain, particularly to areas responsible for keeping you calm, helping you thinking ahead, and aiding you in decision-making.
This is exactly the same principle behind recess at school. Nowadays, more and more schools are actually moving towards a no-recess academic day. However, medical and psychological experts warn against this dangerous trend, simply because recess was made part of the school due to very important reasons. It will not help, as these schools think, to help children get done with their coursework and make them more studious.
Experts suggest that recess is actually a learning tool in itself, and the benefits of all that physical activity actually help to cement the knowledge that children learn in the classroom. Regard has to be given to children’s attention span. That is why in Japan, there is a break for up to 15 minutes after every hour for schoolchildren.
But that is not to say that exercise and physical activity is the domain of the young. Research suggests that you are never too old for exercise. In fact, in old age, blood circulation (especially to the brain) slows down. However, exercise can reverse this situation.
So, we have established the importance of exercise in random-decision making. It is even more beneficial for your thinking and cognition than mental exercises, such as doing puzzles or engaging in hobbies. But how do we get started?
The key is to go slow. If you try to run 25-miles or attempt the Tour de France on the first try, you will naturally fail. Instead, start with any exercise (jogging, brisk walking, or biking) for 25 to 30 minutes, 4 days a week.
However, it is essential that you exercise at the same time every day. This will make your body accustomed to the drill, and soon you will find it easy to increase the rigor and frequency of the workout.
Finally, try to make yourself more active in general life, such as climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator and making small shopping trips on foot.