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Better Bodies Equals Bigger Brains

Today is Women’s Golf Day, and whether you’re a golfer or a woman or a woman golfer or none of the foregoing, it’s a great day to talk about sports and how playing your favorite sport contributes to giving you a bigger, better brain and a longer, healthier life.

Human beings were nomadic hunter-gatherers in the early days of human development. It wasn’t until the inventions of things like wheels, levers, and gravity-fed water systems that humans could start setting up permanent living spaces. Even then, life was very active – no one had invented tractors, conveyor belts, or cars to make life easier. For most of our time on this planet, we have been an active species, able to adapt to different climate conditions, different food sources, and different behavioral challenges.

Fast-forward to today, where we can change our climate inside our homes, store food in a specific location in our homes for consumption at will, and actually never go outside if we don’t want to. In short, we’ve gone from an active, mobile species to a sedentary one. And that’s been not-optimal for our health, fitness level, or for our brains.

Yes, brains. Moving the body, whether it’s playing a highly active sport like tennis, an endurance sport like marathon running, a blended sport like golf, or even just taking the family dog for a walk each day, is one of the predictors for brain size and brain health.

And don’t we all want a bigger, healthier brain?

Taking part in a sport is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll continue to be active, because other people depend on you. It’s tough to play baseball if half the team doesn’t show up, so you’ll have a bit of social pressure and responsibility when you commit to a baseball team. Similarly, joining a golf team, cross country team, or dog training class all gets your body moving, supporting brain health. Want a little bit more motivation? These three Tiny Bites podcast episodes might help. (Psst…you don’t have to listen to them if you don’t want…the transcript is right there for you to read, if you prefer.)

Want to understand your level of competitiveness? Here’s a Tiny Bite for that!

Can you lead with your emotions? Here’s a Tiny Bite for that!

Are you allowing your passion to participate? Here’s a Tiny Bite for that!

This week, think about how you can work your favorite sport or hobby that moves your body into your life more often. Any exercise is good – fun exercise is the kind you’re likely to do more of, more often, and get more pleasure from. And after all that moving around, if you’re a fan of women’s golf, settle in to watch the United States Women’s Open Championship coverage this weekend, and cheer on those amazing women golfers!

Sandy Weaver
Program Director, Center for Workplace Happiness

PS...want to live life on a higher vibe? Come and play in the Wagalicious Life Online Community!


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