Busy Body

Exercise


If you’ve started an exercise habit and it’s going well, congrats! We want you to be proud of yourself. We also want you to know that there will be a day when you get thrown off your routine.

We have all busy days.

A busy day without time to exercise can be a set back for some people. Some perfectionists feel that if they can’t do something perfectly, they may as well not do it at all. If this describes you, keep in mind that exercise doesn’t work that way.

Yes, the recommendation for brain health is 30 minutes of exercise a day. If you miss a day, it doesn’t mean your brain health has no hope. Every single time you workout, you are sending fresh oxygen and nutrients to your brain, keeping your cognitive health strong.

So, if you know there’s a day you don’t have time to work out, try not to be frustrated. You’ll get back on the workout train tomorrow. In the meantime, try to move your body throughout the day if you can.

-Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You’ll burn calories and save time. (Yes, it’s actually faster to take the stairs.)

-Walk to a coworker’s desk or neighbor’s apartment instead of using the phone. You’ll get in extra steps and a boost of social activity that also boosts brain health.

-Do shoulder raises while sitting. Raise your shoulders toward your ears while inhaling, then relax your muscles as you exhale and slowly lower your shoulders. This exercise can also help relieve stress.

References

  • Shah, S., O’Byrne, M., Wilson, M., & Wilson, T. (2011). Elevators or stairs? CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal de l’Association Medicale Canadienne, 183(18), E1353–E1355. doi:10.1503/cmaj.110961
  • van Gelder, B. M., Tijhuis, M. A. R., Kalmijn, S., Giampaoli, S., Nissinen, A., & Kromhout, D. (2004). Physical activity in relation to cognitive decline in elderly men: the FINE Study. Neurology, 63(12), 2316–2321. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000147474.29994.35