In a page from Williams James, scientists have discovered that exercise can lead to a ‘supersoaking’ of glycogen of the brain after continual intense workouts, leading to increased capacities of exercise practitioners for learning and work.
James, who wrote an Essay titled ‘The Energies of Men’, argued that to call upon those states of mind which cause one to work in absence of energy (in times of war, famine, hardship, distress, adversity) is “the most important thing that can happen to a man” – and that the energy laden within oneself is adaptable. Remiscent of a ‘second wind’ – James Further argues that the Brain works this way, and it requires a type of mental training, those who unravel this energy laden within all of us are the ones up quickly, at work forever, while the common (lazy laggards) never dare to do anything great.
Per the New York times summary of the finding, intense exercise can juice the glycogen stores and cause decreased mental capacilities, but, if continued, the brain will instead ‘soak itself’ in the next round of sugar introduction in the bloodstream- using more than it had required before, allowing the organism to work to new heights. (Some 20%+ of the energy taken from foodstuffs is entirely devoted to maintaining synapse gradients in the brain anyway!)
This study goes along with other exercise ideas about how intense workouts facilitate brain power – exercise has been known to induce DNA transcription of a neurotrophic factor, which is associated with strengthening synapses (microtubulues?) The said factor is transcribed more so in memory areas of the brain like the hippocampus, and studies involving memory tests of recall and learning with individuals right after exercise compared to those who haven’t show those after exercise ‘have an extra advantage’ and they score higher on tests requring recall and memory encoding.
Beware the power of physical exertion – it quickens the heart, reduces cortisol, can lead to the release of endorphins, when paired with music, can be one of the most exciting and soul enchanting pleasures – it also aids memory centers and gives the brain more character. Dare to be great.