You’re exercising for your brain and your body! This latest study found the brain needs exercise every bit as much as the body, and that regular exercise keeps our minds sharp as we age; well, sharper than if we didn’t exercise, but, still, it’s a wellness routine that we can control and do to improve the quality of our life.
CNN Health News reports:
Researchers from the University of Miami and Columbia University found that people with no signs of cognitive impairment at the start of the research who reported low activity levels showed a greater decline in processing speed and episodic memory over five years.
Their brains aged about 10 years more than the group that exercised.
Will exercise ever be fun? This recent article tells us, “no.”
We aren’t designed for exercise; that’s why the thought of it makes many of us groan and the rest of us do it because that’s how we stay feeling good and being healthy. As my client says, “I don’t say, “Yippee, skippee, it’s time to work out! I just want it done.”
We are designed for motion. The body is built for motion and needs motion to run properly and at peak performance.
Train your brain to see it differently
The latest research confirms that we can train the brain to respond differently to conditions in life. So, don’t think of it as exercise!
Think of it as movement instead of exercise. Remember, if we parked our cars for good, and walked where we needed to go, and farmed our own food, our lifestyles would support the movement our bodies need in order to function optimally.
Since that’s not happening and our movement-deficient lifestyles aren’t likely to change soon, we must exercise.
So, with movement as the goal, this broadens our ability to integrate wellness routines involving movement into our lifestyle and get credit for exercising.
Movement vs. Exercise
- Modify exercises that you already know; be creative. For example, do a jumping jack sitting in a chair; and/or, don’t go all the way up with your arms. Cat and Cow can be done sitting in a chair, also.
- All movement counts as movement, so all movement counts as exercise.
- As Jack LaLanne used to say, “Get up and move!” My philosophy is, “It doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters that you move.” Do what you can, but do that much.
- Do a few laps in your local supermarket; this one is great because you can use the cart to hold on; there’s always one item we can pick up from the store and the opportunity for socializing is a plus.
- Walk the dog twice as often – your dog will love it!
- Try a session or two with a personal trainer who can customize a fitness routine just for you. Sometimes, we just need more resources.
- There are plenty of ways to exercise at home. Rocking chairs are my favorite exercise equipment; to prove this, watch the video, “Rocking Chair Workout.”
CNN report concludes:
This study adds evidence that the opposite of an energetic lifestyle — essentially, being a couch potato — makes your brain sluggish, too.
The key factors in keeping our mind sharp as we age:
- Exercise aka Movement
- Good stress management skills
- Keep learning
And, if all this isn’t enough to get you moving, remember, fit is fun!
In Klamath Falls, the Senior Center offers lots of fun ways to get moving through their calendar of fitness classes, dances and other regular events.
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