Exercise or physical activities that keep the body moving most of the time during the day is vital. Sedentary lifestyle can lead to metabolic syndrome. In fact, experts determined that inactive lifestyle is just as bad as smoking. Symptoms of cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease become more common today. Fortunately, there are things we can do to maintain brain health like eating the right foods and doing regular exercise, which is also beneficial for longevity.
These things are helpful for maintaining cognitive function and even rewire the brain. Studies have shown that regular physical activity improved brain health. In fact, the Global Council on Brain Health along with AARP provide recommendations for this area. They call it The Brain–Body Connection: GCBH Recommendations on Physical Activity and Brain Health1.
Today, the majority of people are stuck with the convenience of the modern age. Those chores that require physical movements in the past now done with the convenience of machines. Although that makes work efficient, there are less physical activities. Hence, conscious effort to exercise is vital to maintaining physical activity. However, for some people exercise is not their thing for some reasons. Some people feel tired and lazy to exercise, and some simply don’t like to do it because they think it’s no necessary.
Here are 4 ways to do physical activity or exercise to boost your brain health without the grueling effort of doing it. It is essential to make exercise fun and easy. Eventually, once this becomes a habit, it’s easy to incorporate it on a daily routine.
1. Start Low and Slow
Exercise is vital regardless of age. A person living in sedentary lifestyle may find it difficult to get into exercising right away. One thing that can be done in order to get started is to do stretching. Stretching exercises can be done even while sitting, although it is not a recommended posture. Just get up and do some stretching exercises to warm up the body. Even if you’re not going to exercise after stretching, it’s a good way of setting the stage to make the body and the brain in sync and harmonize towards exercising.
Another pretty easy activity to get started is a walking exercise. Just walk daily and increase the distance and speed as you progress. Once you get into these easy physical activities, start moving towards more advanced exercises like resistance or weight training, bodyweight exercises, and even run on a treadmill, if happen to owned one. Keep in mind, going to the gym is not a requirement, although it’s one of the options.
2. Find An Exercise Buddy
A lot of people are good starters but don’t stick to their routines. If you’re among the people in this category, try to find an exercise partner. Your spouse may be a good candidate. You can also group exercise organized either by your local gym trainer or even sponsored. Having a buddy, partner, or being along with a group of people doing exercise together increase the chances of sticking to the routine. Each partner encourages or shares techniques making the routine more challenging, but rewarding.
This drives motivation to exercise regularly especially if both partners make each other accountable. Logging every workout and results can also be a very interesting motivational technique.
3. Be Creative, Mix Up Exercises
Doing one exercise daily can be boring to some people. This can lead to loss of motivation to exercise and eventually going back to sedentary. In order to avoid that from happening, it’s a good idea to incorporate a variety of physical activities in your program. For those who are exercising in the gym, you have plenty of choices. You can exercise and run on a treadmill a few times a week while doing light circuit training, or even high-intensity interval training on some days. The primary purpose of this is to stay motivated, and the more exercises you can do, the more fun and interesting the journey.
If you’re doing exercises at home, you have plenty of options, too. You can do stretching or yoga along with bodyweight exercises a few times a week, and walk exercise or for fun on certain days. If you’re bored of your monotonous exercise program at home, you can find many exercise routines online.
4. Allocate Time For Physical Activity
Once you have decided on the exercise program you will be doing daily, the next important step is to allocate time or schedule your exercise. Scheduling it daily is good. Hence, always find a way to incorporate your exercise program in your daily schedule. In other words, include your exercise program as one of your primary schedules.
5. Exercise Whenever You Have A Chance
Aside from scheduling your exercise and making it a daily habit, you can exercise anywhere you want. Simply get the opportunity to get moving while at work or doing shopping. Keep in mind, maintaining regular physical activities do not have to be always planned and scheduled. For example, while heading for shopping, park your car at least 100 meters away from the entrance. Walk that 100-meter distance from the point you parked your car to the grocery entrance.
If you’re in the mall, make use of the stairs instead of riding the escalators or elevators. Although these movements are light, they’re very helpful and considered as among the best physical activities. You don’t have to do intense cardio or HIIT everytime as light movements always count.