What if I told you I knew a little trick that would reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood and protect your memory and thinking ability?
As a busy professional you would say, please share!
The answer is exercise, specifically cardio exercise, and it’s not as much as you think. In a study completed at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that simply including a one-hour brisk walk, twice a week will improve memory. That’s is only 120 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week (Godman, 2014).
Author Joe Northey, a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise in Australia explained. “When older adults undertake aerobic or resistance exercise, we see changes to the structure and function of areas of the brain responsible for complex mental tasks and memory function.” (Sifferlin, 2017). As busy entrepreneurs and business professionals, we are constantly pushing our brains to work for long periods of time without rest. Combine that with the myriad of other responsibilities we have such as kids, partners, bills and mortgages, it reminds us how important it is to look after this organ and ensure we protect it as best we can. Now that I have explained why you should exercise, let’s explain how.
Walking: Walking is the easiest way to sneak cardio into your day and its free! Do you have a short commute to work? Could you leave the car at home and walk to your office? This is a great way to get in your steps, avoid traffic and enjoy the sunshine. Another option is to make walking a social activity. Next time you make plans with a friend why not suggest a walk? Ditch the café and take your coffee to go. Do something good for your body.
Housework: They don’t call it houseWORK for nothing. Did you know the average person can burn 170 calories per hour completing household chores? Intense vacuuming and mopping, gardening and lawn mowing are all activities that can get the blood pumping. Plus, your spouse will love you for it.
Lunchtime workouts: Find yourself chained to your desk working long hours? Incorporating a quick workout during your lunch hour is a great way to ensure it doesn’t get missed. Signing up for a 30minute spin session or yoga class during your lunch hour will ensure you are held accountable, and push you to keep the habit. My favourites are Oxygen Yoga below or Barre Fitness above
Utilize technology: The number of mobile apps available in the fitness industry is endless! You can subscribe to personal trainers youtube channels, track your progress on running apps and watch fitness circuits on your mobile phone. These apps make it really easy to work out anywhere! My favorites are the Nike training club app and map my run.
Dancing: Do you find your energy after dark? Love spending your evenings at music concerts or DJ performances? Then dancing might be the solution for you! Dancing is a great way to burn calories in a fun and exciting way (you won’t even notice you’re doing it).
With so many options available I know you will find the solution for you.
Exercise = happy brain!