Love or hate the idea, more and more research proves that physical activity has significant positive effects on our mental wellbeing.
At no point was this more apparent than during total lockdown when even getting out for a short walk every day was off the cards. Of course regular exercisers felt out of sorts— most of us will have seen the viral video of the Frenchman who ran an entire marathon on his terrace— but even those of us who aren’t partial to keeping fit began to realise they missed that brisk walk to the Metro on the way to work.
The concept of “keeping fit” can have a bad reputation. Lots of my own friends avoid going to gyms because they can’t face the atmosphere of vanity, sweaty competitiveness and— for many— the uncomfortable feeling of being stared at, a reason for which women’s-only gyms are increasingly popular. But fear ye not! Exercising to boost your mood, energy levels, memory and learning capacity comes (as we humans do) in all shapes and sizes.
Getting out for even a gentle walk can help stimulate creativity, while running and cycling have substantial memory-boosting effects.
Looking specifically at learning a second language, in 2017 a Chinese study found that cardiovascular activity (in this case riding an exercise bike) during the learning process had a considerable effect on students’ abilities to retain much more new vocabulary, and remember it for longer, than those sat at a desk. It goes without saying I’m not advising you to get into any dangerous reading-while-running scenarios, on the contrary please do not! But rather to demonstrate that movement and staying active is scientifically proven to help you succeed in mastering another language.
Yoga, with its focus on breathing and movement, has been endlessly proven to have a positive impact on how we process stress and anxiety. Something that, in this day and age, we could all do with.
It may have taken a global pandemic to make some of us realise all the things our bodies do for us, so with the right nurturing the potential for what our minds can do as a result is limitless.
If you are interested in yoga, our new partner 'Valle de vida' will be able to organise exactly what you need for a week away with the most beautiful views in the south of Spain: https://www.valledevida.com/?fbclid=IwAR03U_uAAzFMffLrMa77FcetBnhH24IrV1hSYXM7O9gb1u6nZKd8g9WdqXI