The Unexpected Way Exercise Can Jumpstart Your Career

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02_wendy_polish_36_MollyCrannaPhotographed by Molly Cranna.
Okay, we know you've heard this before, but exercise is pretty great. It's good for your mental and emotional health, your sleep schedule, even your skin — as well as, of course, your waistline. But, what if we told you that your gym habit could give you a boost that could really benefit you at work? According to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, regular exercise may significantly boost your creativity.

Researchers rounded up 48 "athletes" (who exercised at least four times a week) and 48 relative couch potatoes, and administered a test designed to evaluate their creativity. The subjects were given sets of three seemingly random words and were asked to come up with the link between them (for example, the word "long" was associated with "hair," "stretch," and "time"). The "athlete" group performed significantly better, suggesting a greater capacity for divergent and convergent thinking, which are associated with finding creative, outside-the-box solutions for problems.

However, the results weren't unequivocally in favor of exercise, per se. The study also suggested that among those who don't exercise regularly, an intense bout of cardio might actually impede creative thinking, whereas it was a definite creativity boost in the "athlete" group. Yet one more reason to get in the exercise groove long-term. (Huffington Post)