If You're Having Trouble Concentrating, Take A Step Back & Try These 5 Workouts To Help You Focus

by Georgina Berbari

It always seems like it's the days when your to-do list is miles long that you just can't freaking focus for more than two minutes at a time, no matter how hard you try. I don't know about you, but as soon as I sit down to tackle an important assignment, my brain decides to get lit AF and throw an impromptu salsa party instead of helping me actually be productive. Thanks brain, you the real MVP. But seriously, why can't I concentrate? This is getting really old, really fast.

Of course, we can't help the world we live in, and that world is inevitably sort of distracting these days. Psychology Today reports that social media and modern technology are the main culprits of our fish-like attention spans. Shocker, right?

But just because modern society is prone to becoming distracted AF, that doesn't mean we all have to be destined for failure when it comes to cracking down and zoning in. According to research from Harvard Health, regular exercise can help sharpen your thinking skills and make you more easily able to concentrate on getting sh*t done when you need to.

So the next time you feel like your brain is just not cooperating with you, try these five workouts to help you maintain laser-like focus.

Oh, and turn your phone on airplane mode. Stalking your ex's aunt's Instagram page really isn't helping the situation, and honestly, just, what are you doing there?

A Hike Through Nature Will Clear Your Mind

Getting outdoors for a nice, long hike is a refreshing way to work out, and it'll do wonders to lengthen your attention span by the time you get back to work. In fact, research from Harvard Health revealed that spending time in nature is one of the best ways to improve focus.

Now, might this have something to do with the fact that you probably won't be connected to technology during your hike? You be the judge.

Cycling Can Help Sharpen Your Attention Span

Have you ever hit up a killer cycling class, and afterward, you felt like you could easily write seven papers, find the cure to cancer, and win the next presidential election? Just me? OK, dope.

On the real though, a 2013 study from the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that your memory, reasoning, and planning skills can all be boosted after just 30 minutes of cycling.

So, ride your heart out girl, but just make sure you have a game plan for after the fact so you can make the most of your newfound productivity.

Meditation Will Definitely Help You Find Your Center

You might not consider meditation a form of exercise, but the amount of brain power required is literally next-level — trust me.

If your mind frequently wanders, or if you feel like you have a super short attention span all the time, a few minutes of meditation a day may just be the answer to your distracted prayers.

Pro tip: Add in a juicy yoga flow either before or after you sit down and meditate. The restorative combination will clear your mind and leave you in good shape to tackle anything headed your way.

Lifting Weights Will Help You Find Mental Clarity

Building muscle and boosting your endurance can totally help improve your productivity. Susannah VanWinkle, a personal trainer, health coach, and nutrition expert, explained the benefits in an interview with Huffington Post:

In today’s world we’re bombarded by social media, workloads, and a constant to do list.
In the gym, you learn to leave it all behind and have one singular goal — progress.

Preach, girl.

Tai Chi Sharpens Your Brain

While tai chi isn't the most common form of exercise, it honestly should be, and with YouTube tutorials at your disposal, it's super easy to learn the movements yourself.

Huffington Post reports that busting out some of these meditative moves helps to increase your focus, boosts your cognitive skills, and reduces stress — all of which can lead to stellar concentration skills in the long-run.

Plus, mind-body exercises in general are known to sharpen your thinking, focus, and memory.

If you don't feel like learning the moves yourself through YouTube, consider signing up for a martial arts class to become a master of your own mind.