The past two years I spent most of my time on a bicycle; around six hours of cycling daily would tire me out, that’s for sure, but not necessarily turn me into useless zombie upon stopping for the day (except for sometimes…).
I just started a course at university. After not having studied for two years I was dreading reading papers and writing essays again. Even before any of that happened though, we had some introductory classes. Only a few lectures a day, and I found myself at home, not wanting to move or think any more – I felt knackered and unproductive. More so than after cycling. A matter of getting used to, I hope!?
Now, if both physical and mental work tire out, does that mean mental work also burns the same amount of calories?
If so, would it be possible to lose weight with brain exercise?
Could we see new “brain gyms” popping up, where instead if treadmills and whatnot we’d find some computers and books with all sorts of brain challenges, and chess boards scattered around? (Might as well just go to the library or turn on your computer at home…)
In a resting state, you burn about 1300 calories. Of that, 260 calories are consumed by your brain. (Gizmodo) Unfortunately,”unlike physical exercise, mental workouts do not demand significantly more energy.” (Scientific American) The reason you might crave food after a brain-workout/when you’re mentally exhausted and your head feels like bursting, is not because you burnt a lot more calories than normal, but probably because food is comforting… (Daily Mail, EUFIC)
So no good news for academics, you still gotta hit the gym to get rid of comfort-food-padding 😉