Exercise and Willpower ~ Seriously

I’m just half way through a book, The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal but could not wait to talk to you about this because I find it so interesting! Each day I’m asked by my clients about willpower. Where to find it, how to keep it, how to apply it. “I just don’t have enough willpower to….” is often the refrain.

Turns out that indeed, we might not have enough willpower! Willpower is a finite resource and in order to keep it charged and well tended to we need to be aware of this. The part of our brain responsible for willpower is our pre-frontal cortex. This is the part of our brain that that allows us to think something clearly through and pick the best option, even if it is not our instinctual option.

Like other parts of our bodies, the pre-frontal cortex gets tired with use.  Its hard work to over-ride some instincts with the judgment calls the pre-frontal cortex makes. Also like other parts of our bodies, it also tends to need to be ‘fed’ and in the case of our brains that means, among other things, exercise!

While it can seem somewhat counter-intuitive at first you really do get energy and feed the brain and body when you break a sweat. More sweat, according to Dr. McGonigal, equals more willpower!

I’ll keep reading and bring you more as I do but in the meantime I hope you get out and get working on building that willpower!