The Benefits of Doing Nothing (and Why You Should Do It More Often)

One might assume that Isaac Newton was hard at work in his laboratory when he stumbled upon gravity. Such a monumental discovery surely occurred in a room where he was surrounded by books, diagrams, and mathematical equations.

You’d be wrong of course.

When Isaac Newton saw the apple fall from the tree, he was sitting idle in his garden daydreaming. This wasn’t the only time either. In fact, Isaac Newton, a physicist and mathematician instrumental in helping us to get where we are today, made it a point to sit in his garden regularly and do nothing.

When was the last time you just sat and let your mind wander?

With our crazy to-do lists, digital devices, social networks, and social circles, we’re constantly trying to eek just one more ounce of productivity out of our day. The thought of just sitting down and staring off into space is so foreign it sounds ludicrous.

Isaac Newton was on to something early on. Those hours of sitting in his garden weren’t hurting his productivity. They were sparking original ideas and encouraging creativity. They’re crucial for keeping your mind healthy.

Let’s explore why doing nothing is more beneficial to your health than you would ever imagine.

Continue reading

What A Workout Does to Your Brain

This post originally appeared on the Crew blog

I distinctly remember the sunrises during my senior year of high school. While my classmates were sleeping, I was on the roads racking up miles with my cross country team to avoid the Florida heat. We would hit the showers then shuffle off to class. At the time, I thought this was absolute torture. Getting up early in the morning was bad enough, but exercising on top of that?

That type of activity wouldn’t be anything new at Naperville High School in Naperville, IL. The school was profiled in the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain. Naperville encourages students to attend physical education classes and offers early morning options so they can get a workout in before the first bell. As one would expect, the students have a lower obesity rate, but they’re also seeing benefits in the classroom.

To improve mental performance, many individuals resort to hard work and repetition. In turns out, they might be missing out on one of the most powerful brain boosters in the world – exercise.

Continue reading