If you’re like me, you’re always trying to learn a new skill. Did you know that exercising for 15 minutes after you perform or learn a new skill can help you retain it much better?
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What you need to know about learning a new skill
I think most of us can agree that when you’re trying to learn a new skill, whether that’s a musical instrument or a new movement skill, it can be quite challenging and daunting. Even though you may be able to learn it, how well are you able to retain that until your next practice session? This of course involves a whole host of different things.
From a neuroscience standpoint, research shows that performing a bout of exercise for 15 minutes following some type of motor skill can improve the connectivity and retention of that particular skill.
For example, if you are learning the guitar and you practice for five to 10 minutes, then you would perform a 15-minute bout of exercise immediately after, preferably more cardiovascular-based. This could look different for each person, whether that’s walking, Animal Flow, jump rope, running, lifting, etc.
Focus on some movement that you can keep your heart rate slightly elevated for that duration. As I mentioned, this is shown to improve cognitive retention and memory.
Among many other things, movement can help enhance learning. We should apply this concept to children. Rather than having kids sit all day long and trying to learn new material and skills, we could enhance their brain function if we focused on movement throughout the day. For example, as soon as you start walking, you light up your brain. If we can pair movement and learning together, we’re going to do much better in life.
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