Exercise and Cognitive Abilities

Exercise and Cognitive Abilities

Scientific evidence through neuro-imaging has suggested that physical activity improves a person’s cognitive ability across all ages. Age-related brain tissue loss is minimized. Existing cognitive ability is improved. People can allocate more attention towards the environment. Information can be processed much more quickly.

Survival throughout history

The human brain has an exceptional capacity when it comes to modifying its function and structure as per influences of experience and environment. Physical activity has played an important role at the time of biological adaptation. It ensured that humans survived through a number of catastrophic periods. During this time, foraging, exploration and defense along with cognitive skills were fully integrated to the motor operations of the body so that humans can survive. The hippocampus, a body part which has an important role in processing of memories, is highly influenced by many physical activities. Regions of the brain developed that controlled cognitive abilities. These adaptations led to adequate savings of energy so that a more complex and larger brain can evolve. Humans soon developed the capacity to walk upright and faster than ever before. All these were essential for survival.

Cognitive control means a subset of self-regulatory and goal directed operations which are involved in selection, coordination and scheduling of the computational process underlying action, perception and memory. The important cognitive processes are collectively referred to as “cognitive control”. they include inhibition, cognitive flexibility and working memory.

Rise in cognitive skills

Research has revealed that regular physical activity led to a 50 percent increase in cognitive performance. Tasks needing larger cognitive control became much easier for the concerned individual. All these findings point toward the fact that physical activity helps an individual to be more attentive and improve and preserve cognitive functions considerably over time.

The above findings are applicable to all age groups, including school going children. Physical activity plays a positive role during development. In younger people, physical activity improves all the eight categories of measurement: perceptual skills, achievement, mathematics tests, academic or developmental readiness, intelligence quotient, verbal tests and memory. In fact exercise also helps in cognitive processes which help with maintaining balance and fine motor control.

From the Olson Family

We would first like to say, “Welcome!”  It is our goal to provide the best martial arts training in a safe and encouraging environment.  As a family we have devoted our lives to not only training the physical aspects of martial arts to thousands of people but the mental and emotional aspects, as well.  Our goal is to help each student achieve Black Belt and Beyond.  The reason for this is that we know from over 40 years of experience teaching martial arts that when a student experiences the awarding of a Black Belt, they soar with confidence. 

What it Takes to become a Black Belt

It takes commitment, perseverance, goal setting and a strong work ethic to earn that belt.  Even at a young age people know that a black belt in martial arts means something important.  It shows you don’t quit, you don’t give up.  That you have what it takes!  Once you’ve done that, you know you can do anything you set your mind to; like getting into a great college, starting a career, making the team, anything you want.  We love to hear the success stories of our students after they have gone off to college and started lives and families of their own.  However, we are not surprised by their success.  We already know they have what it takes to live their dream. 

Character Development

Another goal we have as a family is to support families and help reinforce the qualities of character you desire for your child to have.  Our proven character development and leadership program includes lessons from making eye contact to handling conflict.  Also, speaking up and showing confidence ,as well as, standing strong for what you believe is right.  Our desire is to train black belts who are not only highly skilled in the art of self-defense but who are kind, compassionate, confident citizens of our communities.  People who have a strong work ethic and will show “Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Respect”, everywhere they go.

 Let us Partner with You!

Because of this, we want to partner with you, the parents and families, in helping give your child a strong foundation in values, to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to make good choices, and to live a healthy lifestyle.  Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if there is ever a point where we can help with question or concerns from motivation to troubles with bullying.  We are committed to helping each of our students live a happier, safer and more confident life.


Grand Master Amanda Olson-Illescas, Master Keith Olson, Ms. Katie McKinney

Please visit for information about our martial arts schools closest to you in Johnson City, TN!

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