Burn fat, boost metabolism, and increase brain power during your summer vacation.

Boost your brain power

Boost your metabolism and brain power at the same time.

As Professors, we all know how scarce time can be when it comes to spending blocks of time to ‘overlearn’. Where do you find the time to keep up on recent studies and research, or future trends in your area of expertise? Once a semester begins, most of us only have time to focus on our courses and the administrative tasks that accompany them. So, I’d like to pass on this simple idea that allows you to take care of two things at once; boosting your metabolism and boosting your brainpower. I call it ‘Walk ‘n’ Talk’.

I first started ‘walking’ every day during my summer vacation after it was recommended to me by a physiotherapist (it’s an ‘L5 and sacrum’ issue; a long boring story). When I first started ‘walking’, I would put on my iPod and listen to the hundreds of songs loaded on it. I remember someone once asking me, “how could anyone listen to all the songs that can fit onto a iPod?” Well, speaking from experience, you can! As I was downloading some ‘Matthew Good’ songs (a Canadian songwriting genius; just listen to his album called, ‘Vancouver’), I decided to click on the ‘podcasts’ icon in iTunes. I was blown away by the variety of podcasts that are out there; there are literally thousands of podcasts that cover all interests. I began typing in a few keywords in the search field and discovered some great podcasts that interested me. Many of them were about 45 minutes to an hour in length, which was perfect since that’s my walks take that amount of time. I figured that it would be a better use of my time to use these walks to enhance my knowledge rather than to listen to Matthew Good. So now, listening to music is reserved for the gym and podcasts are reserved for walks. Here are just a few of my favourite podcasts that you may also find interesting:

‘Brain Science Podcast’ by Dr. Ginger Campbell

‘The Psych Files’ by Michael Britt

‘Be the media’ by David Mathison

’60 second science’ by Scientific American

The Public Speakers quick and dirty tips‘ by Lisa B. Marshall

‘The age of persuasion’ by Terry O’Reilly  (advertising theme)

More recent that I just stumbled upon: ‘You are not so smart’ by David McRaney

“I don’t really think, I just walk.” –Paris Hilton

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

There is another reason why ‘Walk ‘n’ Talk’ is a good idea. Walking improves your cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and trims off fat among other things. Teaching as a profession can be stressful at times, so these walks are a great way to clear your mind and improve your mood perhaps after a ‘not-so-great’ class. So, if you want to stay in shape, both physically and mentally, get on your runners (‘Asics’ brand are great runners), grab your headphones and download some podcasts onto your iPod.

One last tip. You can practice your memory skills at the same time by using landmarks along your walk to create a ‘Loci’ system for memory recall. You can start practicing by attaching individual items on your grocery list to the individual ‘locations’ along your walking path. Yea, I know, I’ve got to get a life.

Drink water when you are walking

Take water with you on your walks. Take a drink every time you walk past a fire hydrant; they’re usually spaced every 200-500 ft.

So, before summer vacation starts, take the time and go to iTunes and start downloading some podcasts onto your iPod so they’re loaded and ready to go.

Do you listen to any podcasts that others may find interesting? Let me know, thanks.

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