Wednesday Workout: Thinking Burns Calories?

Yes, the brain uses energy to do its jobs like regulate heart beat and send messages to the nervous system, but did you know that thinking also burns calories beyond the brain’s normal usage? Our brains like the energy produced from eating carbs but it also thrives on fat. Go figure—literally. These nutrients are necessary for the brain to function but in proper portions.


Don’t get excited and think that sitting around writing all day will be all that’s necessary for the daily workout we need. Thinking hard, sorting through a novel’s plot problem, or deciding the best way to organize an article encourages neurons to produce the magic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that create new brain cells that make it easier to learn new things and to think in general. However….physical exercise has been proven in recent years to up the numbers considerably where BDNF is concerned. Physical exercitation accompanied with aerobic activity increases BDNF production making it easier to figure things out. So we still have to get physical to get thinking better which in turn contributes to everything writers need to stay healthy and productive. Workouts equal better thinking.

For more information, read Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey, M.D. and the evidence will hopefully provide the jolt we all need to start or keep exercising because it’s good for our bodies as well as our thinking.


Try scheduling a workout sometime between writing sessions. Notice how thinking is any different before and after the exercise and let me know your results.


There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)


Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,


And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey Amy Shojai



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Be well, write well