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Coffee is usually used to enhance productivity. But does it really?
When I start becoming unfocused at the task at hand, whether it be homework, school work, making articles, etc. I have tried many ways to improve my focus. Usually, I drink coffee in order to maintain my focus. But through my personal experience I find that the caffeine disrupts my focus, and I end up just staring at the screen instead of actually reading & digesting the text. I can’t think. The caffeine makes me feel as if less blood is reaching my brain. Without a doubt in my mind, I feel my body’s peripherals (hands, feet) become cold, jittery, and reduced in blood flow because of the caffeine. I also experience IBS like symptoms from caffeine consumption. And this severely affects my concentration and productivity. But it could be that the coffee is the problem, not the caffeine.
I experience firsthand that Aerobic Exercise improves focus.
However, I recently tried a new method for improving focus when I am at my low peak for energy. Running. I first observe signs that I am low on energy. Like pulling up a new tab and surfing the internet, browsing social medias, redditing lolcats, etc. When I am low on energy, I observe that I become distracted easily and would rather do something more enjoyable that requires less mental energy. And so when recognize this pattern of time-wasting, I get up from my chair, put on my running shoes, and go outside for a mile jog. Coming back inside , I have the focus and wakefulness needed to continue my work.
Exercise’s long term and short term benefits out-weigh’s coffee’s benefits
So far, I find so many more benefits to running over pounding-out a cup of coffee.
I have more relaxed-energy throughout the day. That means I don’t get distracted frequently and I don’t get angry at my boss. Being in a relaxed-state is extremely beneficial because it allows for deep thinking to occur.
Healthwise, I am getting thinner. Weight in terms of fat was packing up on my belly. The result was that the fat pushed on my stomach, causing frequent acid reflux. Also, exercise allows the body to adjust insulin & blood sugar levels properly, insuring a smooth level of energy instead of frequent frequent highs & crashes.
Also, exercise improved my sleep. When I finally hit the sack & pajamas, I fell asleep quickly & deeply. When I woke up, I felt well-rested and energized to start my day. Further, there are studies that show that exercise increase the levels of delta-wave sleep, which is the deepest sleep needed for bodily restoration. Before I picked up exercise, I used coffee. Which would interfere with sleep and cause me to be drained the next day. For me to have continued this pattern, I wouldn’t have lasted long.
The health of the body is directly related to how well we function cognitively. So, the Moral of the story is: exercise is a key tool to be used for achieving higher cognitive function.