E10 - Why exercise makes your brain thrive

How physical exercise affects your attention.

Hi everyone,

My name is Lemmy and this is my story of how I became The Attention Master.

In Episode 10, I want to motivate you to exercise more. Not for a fitter body, but for a fitter mind.

Here is what you are going to learn today:

  • How exercise affects the brain

  • The cognitive benefits of exercise and how long they last

  • When and how to exercise

  • Low-friction exercises and free resources to use

This week’s community challenge

50 jumping jacks + 1 Sally-Up-Sally-Down challenge of your choice

- Lemmy, the Attention Master

Christmas is around the corner and New Year's resolutions typically follow. Exercise is always high on the list, but is usually dropped faster than a hot pot. People want to get in shape, but quickly realize that maybe it's not as important as they thought. "At least I'm performing mentally, right?"

The truth is: If you want to play your A-game, you need to exercise. Here's why:

1. What happens in your body when you exercise

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve cognitive function, including focus. In addition, exercise can increase the production of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine (-> important for motivation) and norepinephrine (-> important for energy and readiness), which are involved in attention and focus.

2. Effects of exercise

Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has been shown to have significant effects on attention.

A single session, typically about 30 to 45 minutes, can result in an immediate boost in mood and improved cognitive function by helping the prefrontal cortex work. The prefrontal cortex is THE part of our brain responsible for attention and is involved in functions such as:

  • Planning and decision making (-> prioritizing)

  • Suppressing impulses and actions (-> less distracted)

  • Imagination (-> better creativity)

  • Motivation & Drive (-> less procrastination)

3. How long do the benefits last?

The immediate effects of exercise on attention can last up to 2 hours after exercise, according to studies conducted by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman.

The beauty of exercise is that these benefits are consistent across all age groups, from young adults to those in their 90s.

4. Intensity

I’m not gonna lie. The type and intensity of exercise can affect its effect on focus. High-intensity exercise may temporarily decrease focus immediately after exercise, while moderate-intensity exercise may have a more lasting positive effect on focus.

If your workout is very intense, you may use up all your glycogen and feel a crash afterwards, especially after eating.

5. When to exercise?

The best time to exercise depends on your goals.

For alertness early in the day and a good night’s sleep:

  • When you wake up.

  • 3 hours after waking.

  • 11 hours after waking may be beneficial.

This could be a full workout or just some light movement such as walking or skipping rope.

For improved learning and memory:

  • If the exercise is intense and increases adrenaline, it may be best to schedule it after a study session.

  • If the exercise is designed to increase blood flow and osteocalcin release, it may be beneficial to do it one to three hours before studying.

For energy levels throughout the day:

  • Exercise early in the day, within an hour of waking.

  • No later than three hours after waking up.

6. The Protocol to take ACTION

I know it can be hard to exercise during the winter months. It's too cold outside and the gym is too far away. Accountability always works, so finding a workout buddy is a good place to start. Also, there are some very good and inexpensive pieces of equipment that can help you start small and don't force you to leave your home:

Of course, working out every day is not possible for most of us. Our lives are too busy. That's why you need a default exercise for those days when you can't do a full workout. We designed a default exercise for you that is quick, easy and can be done anywhere: 50 Jumping Jacks + 1 Sally Up Sally Down challenge of your choice.

If you love push-ups, you should check out “Sally up, Sally down”, one of the most effective exercises in the world. Besides, it only takes 3 minutes. In the meantime, people have come up with all kinds of versions, such as a Plank Edition or a Squad Edition.

Every good action needs a trigger. That's why I'm providing a different visual for each community challenge. Add it to your lock screen and you'll see it every time you open your phone.

Then it's your choice: Screen time or life time?

Here's the E10 Exercise DOWNLOAD and below is a video showing you how to add it to your lock screen.

Let me know if this works for you via
our brand new Whatsapp community
& see ya next week


  • Community Challenge: 50 jumping jacks + 1 Sally-Up-Sally-Down challenge of your choice.

  • Aerobic exercise is best for attention.

  • The effects on attention can last up to 2 hours.

  • HIT may temporarily decrease focus, especially after eating.

  • For alertness, exercise early in the day or 11 hours after waking.

  • No excuses: There are many types of exercise that require 0 equipment and can be done anywhere, even at home or while traveling.



We know that mastering your attention is extremely difficult. It's not going to happen in a day. That's why we've created Lemio, an app designed to be your personal buddy on the journey. It's still in beta, but as a subscriber to our newsletter, you can claim your exclusive access via this link:

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