Exercise to Improve your Life and your Mind

This entry is part 6 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

 

My Exercise Regime

A few months ago, I considered myself as well-exercised. Thanks to the persistent training of our little Jack Russell terrier, we knew that 5 pm meant a brisk walk down to the beach! But then she got old, and my left knee had to be replaced, and we both agreed a short stroll round the blog was all the exercise we needed.

Zoe died, but the discipline of exercise continued. (She had trained us well.)

Then enter the fitbit which we’ll look at tomorrow. And I discovered I did nothing like enough exercise. If I wanted to improve my health, my mind, and my all round life, I needed to increase my exercise regime drastically. 

Pros of healthy exercise:

  • It increases our intake of oxygen and thus improves our blood flow,
  • This in turn keeps our blood vessels healthy,
  • When we don’t exercise enough, we face a major risk of memory loss.
  • Exercise increases the size of the hippocampus which helps to stimulate memory.
  • Improves cognitive function.
  • Elevates the mood and ability to focus.
  • Helps to lower blood sugar levels, so reduces the risk of diabetes.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure.
  • Gets the person sweating which helps the body detoxify.
  • Improves sleep quality.
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Exercise stimulates the ability of the brain to take in new information. 
After a work out, use your brain in a learning situation rather than relax. Click To Tweet

Hurry up and walk!

According to research, an 80-year-old person who walks at one mile per hour has a 10% of reaching 90.  If that same person moved at say 3.5 mph, he or she increases the chance of reaching 90 to 84%! (Journal of the Americal Medical Association 305 no 1)

So apart from walking, what exercises are best? It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. An assortment of different exercises will help to improve  your body, your brain, your mental abilities, and in other words, your life!

Coordination Exercises:

  • According to Dr. Amen, the best exercise for coordination is table tennis! ( I love this as it’s the only sport I enjoy!  🙂
  • Dancing
  • Tai Chi

Learning Exercises:

The best mental exercises are ones which involve learning new knowledge. No matter how complicated your job may be, learning a new technique, game, or activity is always more beneficial to your brain. 

Doing crosswords all day, or playing sudoku for hours on end won’t give you full benefits.

Good games to play are:

  • Scrabble
  • Strategy games such as Risk or chess.
  • Tetris – now this is an interesting one. Just 3 minutes of Tetris is known to decrease cravings for drugs, alcohol, food, and gambling. If you play Tetris too long, it becomes almost hypnotic, where you are no longer thinking but working almost in a trance.
  • Weight training combined with aerobics (fast walking) and some sort of problem solving is often helpful with dementia patients. 
  • Balancing exercises.

 

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21 comments on “Exercise to Improve your Life and your Mind

  1. Pingback: A to Z 2018 Blogging Challenge: Improve your Life, Improve your Mind.

  2. I find that I don’t feel as well now if I neglect my exercise routine! and thank goodness for dogs who really do set an example for us!! Mine gets quite verbal if I’m even 5 minutes late for our twice-daily!

  3. You know my philosophy on keeping fit and active Shirley. I love running but I also like to go for walks and do yoga. The important thing is to find some sort of movement that you enjoy and get moving. We do need cardio but that doesn’t necessarily mean running – anything that raises your heart rate is cardio training. I don’t have a fitbit but they are a great idea!
    Sue Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    E for Embracing Life

    • Sue, you have an amazing exercise regime. I’ve never been enthusiastic, but now that I’ve had a total knee replacement on one knee and the other wouldn’t take much impact work to go the same way, jogging is out for me. However, with the fitbit, my emphasis is no longer doing the exercise which I don’t like, but on pushing up numbers which is fun. As long as it works, I reckon it’s doing the trick! Fitbit for Improving your Life

  4. I do walk. At this time of year, probably not enough, due to the weather! Also, I like to dance and I do Zumba twice a week. In the fall, I am going back to tap dance classes, which I had to stop because of transportation issues. I often worry about dementia, ever since my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers in January of 2016. She will be 97 years old in June.

  5. I’ve been lazy to exercise and have been thinking of starting it. I understand the benefits of it but the challenge is to bring my mind to do it. Nice post, Shirley!

    • Thanks for your visit. Seriously? Look at today’s post on the fitbit and consider getting yourself one. It has made such a difference to me. I hate exercise. But suddenly for me it’s not about exercise it’s about pushing up my numbers on my fitbit! LOL! As long as it works, right? Fitbit for Improving your Life

  6. Absolutely, every little bit helps. I’ve gone the whole way and set up every possible goal. So I’m also watching my calories in and out, my stress levels etc. Like you, I’m still on the average of 8,000 steps a day, but I’ve been quite OCD about completing that.

  7. My fitbit woke me up too Shirley – I was doing half as many steps a day than what I thought! That was with a 25 minute morning walk already included! Since then I’ve added an evening walk and a bit of extra up and down from the computer (my biggest time waster!) and I still only average 8,000 steps most days – still, every little bit helps!

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    E for Enjoy Life Today

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