“Fitness Powered Brains” – Book Review

Scientific data to nourish the motivation for physical fitness with the goal to power up and boost mental activities? Yes, please!

Fitness Powered Brains by Dr. Chong Chen, research scientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan, offers a collection of data that support the importance of physical exercise in psychological well-being and mental productivity along with recommendations on how to incorporate these findings in your everyday life.

Whether your aim is professional success, efficient emotion regulation or a satisfying work-family life balance, then this book will provide you with the significant basic information to start addressing your goals.

The benefits of fitness presented in the book, such as improved brain efficiency, generating more new neurons, higher stress tolerance and the use of physical exercise as a way to deal with negative emotions, executive burnout or jet lag, will definitely tempt you to read more on the topic and dedicate more time and attention to your own physical training routine. You will also discover why and how physical fitness impacts not only your main activities, but also your sleep behavior and the quality of sleep.

“Fitness Powered Brains” provides significant information that can make the reader (re)consider and plan their strategy when it comes to providing the mind with the best physical health support that can help it achieve excellence and subjective well-being.

We know that a healthy body is a way to maintain a healthy mind and that physical fitness is how you help both your body and your mind to be more productive and provide better results over long periods of time. “Fitness Powered Brains” also gives you the information on how to achieve these long-lasting positive results.

I think one of the best things one can take from this book is the idea that even the slightest changes in one’s fitness routine can go a long way in what regards the fitness of mind and the quality of positive moods. If you are like me, then maybe you prefer walking, running or hiking to going to the gym. Dr. Chen’s “Fitness Powered Brains” reconfirmed that these rather simple fitness activities, especially if turned into habits, can be enough to get significant results related to brain fitness. We can customize the fitness training in a way that does not make us think of it as difficult or rigid, and get the best results still. We can incorporate it into our busy lives, because this is time well spent, that generates even more time and resources for us to assign to our professional and personal goals.

Although the book provides examples on how physical fitness can be attained through different types of physical exercise routines – aerobic (low intensity) or anaerobic (high intensity) –  I would have also liked it to include science-based full routine recommendations – per week or for a month – based on these preferences, cognitive goals and other criteria. I think it would be a fun and useful complementary resource for this book or even the subject of a new book.

Also, I believe that some segments of the book could have benefited from a more extended presentation or auxiliary explanations, in order to facilitate the understanding of research methodology and research results by the general public. Especially the difference between correlation and causation studies. This would ensure that readers properly understand the fact that physical fitness is not an exclusive factor of satisfying cognitive functionality. Dr. Chen does provide a message in that sense in the last chapters, but I think that this significant information should be clearly stated in the beginning of the material, if not each time specific results and interpretations are provided, just in case readers only go through the chapters regarding the subject that most interests them.

“Fitness Powered Brains” provides a variety of powerful research results that convey that physical exercise prepares your brain for higher cognitive activities and that it provides a great way to regulate moderate negative emotions and prevent the occurrence of new unpleasant feelings. It can help you be more productive, more creative, more emotionally balanced and in general, to have a  higher degree of life satisfaction. Most leaders and people who have achieved success in their professional environments make physical training a significant part of their daily routine and this choice not only helped them get there, but also provides a better environment for future achievements as well.

We need to consider both the fitness of our body and that of our mind when searching and planning the steps that can lead us to the achievement of our personal and professional goals.

Dr. Chong Chen’s book provides guidance regarding your first science-based steps toward both physical and mental fitness. Read “Fitness Powered Brains” and discover what as little as a 4-minute walk can do for your physical and psychological well-being.

The Kindle version of “Fitness Powered Brains” is available starting June 27, and you can order it here.

P.S. This is not a commercial endorsement deal. I get no commission from the sales of this book. The author invited me to read and honestly review his book for Psychology Corner.

Photo Sources: Copyright (C) Brain and Life Publishing. Used with author’s permission.

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