Exercise and language learning

Light exercise will help you improve your language skills in many ways. Find out how to make most of it!

Can working out help you learn Mandarin, Japanese or other Asian languages?

I. Introduction

Learning a new language can be a challenging yet rewarding process. One often overlooked aspect of language learning is the role that sport and physical activity can play in enhancing the learning experience. In this article, Kungfucius will outline the ways in which sport can help you learn Mandarin, Japanese, or other Asian languages, and how incorporating physical activity into your language learning routine can lead to improved results.

II. Sport and its positive effects on the brain

Engaging in regular physical activity has been shown to have numerous positive effects on the brain. Exercise can improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain, promoting the growth of new neurons, and enhancing the connections between them. Even moderate activity like walking can already lead to these benefits as this study shows. This can lead to improved memory and learning capabilities, as well as increased focus and attention span. These benefits can have a significant impact on your ability to learn and retain a new language. Overall, exercise can improve brain health and most people are not limited by the muscle mass of their tongue but by their brains when it comes to language learning.

III. Sport and positive effects on wellbeing and sleep

In addition to its cognitive benefits, regular exercise can also have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing and sleep quality. Just make sure that you finish your workout about 2 hours before you want to sleep so your body chemicals and body temperature can normalize again from elevated levels during physical activity. Physical activity can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can interfere with language learning. Furthermore, exercise can improve mood and mental health, providing a more conducive environment for learning. Finally, engaging in regular physical activity can lead to better sleep quality and duration, which is essential for optimal learning and memory consolidation.

IV. Sport to connect with native speakers

Another benefit of incorporating sport into your language learning routine is the opportunity to connect with native speakers. Participating in sports activities with native speakers can help you learn about their culture and customs, as well as provide an engaging environment in which to practice your language skills. By engaging in a shared activity, you can form meaningful connections with native speakers, making the language learning process more enjoyable and motivating.

One of the best ways are easy hikes. You won’t be too exhausted or out of breath and can have meaningful conversations with your hiking or walking buddies. Do not aim to climb Volcan Baru to learn Spanish – you will get too exhausted! Better: Join a little group to hike you to Montserrat in Bogota. It is still challenging but you will have plenty of time to talk to locals and foreigners alike. Another mountain in Colombia that is perfect for a hike is the Hill of Three Crosses. Just make sure to go in the morning when police is active and not in the afternoon when it becomes dangerous. In Asia, Huangshan might be too difficult for a language learning experience, but there are many smaller hills that are perfectly suitable for a little hike and good conversation. 

In Shanghai and other larger cities of Asia, you can find FitFam free workout activities. These workouts can be challenging, but you will get to know many people from all around the world and you can start speaking all kind of languages there! 

V. Strong workout and physical and mental exhaustion

While engaging in regular physical activity can have numerous benefits for language learning, it is essential to strike a balance between intense exercise and effective language study. Overdoing physical activity can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, which can hinder your language learning progress. It is important to listen to your body and ensure that you are giving yourself adequate time to rest and recover from intense workouts. If you want to grow muscle, sometimes you have to push your limits and live with the exhaustion. Just understand that this will affect your ability to learn languages in the following hours. A heavy workout once or twice a week is ok, but more often than that will interfere with your language learning

VI. Summary

In conclusion, incorporating sport into your language learning routine can have a multitude of benefits. From improving cognitive function and mental wellbeing to providing opportunities to connect with native speakers, sport can enhance your language learning experience. By finding a balance between physical activity and language study, you can create a well-rounded approach to learning a new language, leading to more effective and enjoyable learning. Do not workout too hard otherwise you will experience cognitive fatigue. The sweet spot is often a simple 30 minute walk in a park! You can even listen to some podcasts while enjoying natural light and green spaces. Find the best apps for Chinese learning here.

And remember: Kungfucius obviously recommends light KungFu in the early morning in nature. This will wake you up and prepare you for a day of language learning and other cognitive functions. Monks have experienced that physical activity can help them study. Learn from the monks. 

Learn from Kungfucius