Leadership training combined with activity may improve the brain's ability to learn.

The main reasons that ActiveLeading exists are to put leaders into flow-inducing situations so that they build strong bonds with other leaders and so that they will have more meaningful (and longer-lasting) learning moments. But when I recently started reading a book called SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, I couldn't help but think about an ancillary benefit of ActiveLeading workshops: the fitness aspects improve the brain's ability to learn.

SPARK explains the fitness program that Fitness4U put together in Naperville: this fitness program changed a school that underperformed in state-mandated exams for school children into a school of top-performers. Fitness, it turns out, doesn't just change the body: fitness also changes the brain, building the brain and making it more likely to function better.

You can imagine the excitement at ActiveLeading, as we read these findings. Personally, I began thinking about the other reasons why ActiveLeading will help participants of its workshops. Participants might find something that they are good at, helping them to continue their pursuit of that activity, helping them to get (or stay) fit, all while helping them to be better leaders. And while participants are at ActiveLeading workshops, the fitness aspects of the workshop help the discussion portions of the workshops to be more productive.

SPARK also noted that fitness helps us to reduce our stress, and so when leaders are experiencing times of increased stress, they might be better off to leave work for a while so that they can break a sweat and reduce (or relieve) some of their stress and anxiety. (Why not leave work for a few days to join us for our next ActiveLeading workshop?)

I encourage you to pick up a copy of SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain: it's an easy-reading book that has some interesting findings that we can apply to our everyday lives. Also, if you haven't already, I invite you to share with a colleague, the ActiveLeading approach to leadership training: we are currently accepting applications for leaders to attend our next workshop.

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