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Exercise jogs a lawyer’s brain

To upgrade the mental capabilities of in-house counsel, encourage them to sweat. A fast-beating heart is a high RPM brain. Exercise “improves the blood’s access to specific brain regions and stimulates learning cells to make brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which acts like cerebral Miracle-Gro for neurons.” Personally, I sprinkle BDNF liberally on my granola each morning. More about the link between physical and mental fitness comes from the Harv. Bus. Rev., Vol. 86, at 22-23.

Not to sweat the details, but “You learn 20% faster immediately after exercise than after sitting still.” Among the ideas in the article are to have treadmills installed in offices and to encourage employees to take breaks and use them. As a side benefit exercise reduces both stress (See my post of April 16, 2007: benefits of a corporate health center.) and waist size.

Workouts and work fit together nicely. Now it smartly dawns on me why I read on my daily stint on the Stairmaster. For lawyers, let’s dub it the LAWcker room effect.

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