It’s a well-known fact that regular physical activity is beneficial. It strengthens bones and muscles, combats health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy and makes you feel better. Another benefit to physical activity is the positive impact it has on your brain!
Being physically active improves cognitive health – it can improve the way you think, learn, problem-solve, and help you enjoy an emotional balance. Exercising can also improve your memory, reduce anxiety, and even help improve your quality of sleep. And here’s the best part – ANY amount of physical activity has been shown to be beneficial.
Some of the effects of exercise on brain health happen immediately, meaning they occur during exercise or shortly thereafter, such as a reduced feeling of anxiety, improved sleep, and improved aspects of cognitive function. With regular physical activity, other long-term benefits occur, such as improvements in executive function (the ability to plan and organize, initiate tasks, control emotions), deep sleep, and more long-term anxiety management.
What Can You Do?
Being active might be easier than you think. Here are some ideas for how to stay active throughout the day. Remember – every little bit counts!
Daily Chores – what might count as physical activity? Cleaning, gardening, laundry, and other household chores can count as activity for the day! If it’s getting you up and moving, it certainly counts.
Be Active While Watching TV – think of ways to be active to reduce the amount of sedentary time in the day. Keep a list of activities, such as arm circles, marching in place, or leg kicks, to do during commercial breaks, while watching your favorite shows.
Walk – walking is one of the simplest and most effective things we can do. Walk your dog, walk with a friend, walk to get the mail. Take the long way to get to dinner. Walk two times around the lake. Think of ways to get extra steps in!
The pros of exercise are countless. The next time you attend an exercise or dancing class, talk a walk, or a dip in the pool, remember you are improving your physical health, and your cognitive health!
If you need help determining which exercises might be best for you to, reach out to the Functional Pathways Therapy Team and we will be happy to help guide you!