This Friday 7th November is Walk to Work Day, a great way to remind ourselves that we all need to be moving more to stay brain fit and well.
You may be familiar with the Find Thirty refrain, encouraging us all to find those thirty elusive minutes to do some aerobic activity. But why thirty? Why not 20 or 40 even? It turns out 30 minutes of exercise was thought to be the optimum amount of time required for us not put on weight as we started to lead a more sedentary lifestyle.
Of course many of are now even more sedentary, which is why the goal posts got changed, with the call for Find Sixty going out! So if you were struggling with the idea of doing 30 minutes aerobic activity every day, our increasingly time-poor life style isn’t going to make finding sixty minutes a day very easy.
Which is why the solution is to simply Move More.
Brains need our body to move, because exercise boosts serotonin and endorphin release, elevating mood and well being. Exercise has been shown to be as effective as an anti-depressant in treating mild to moderate depression.
In addition exercise boosts the release of BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) essential for neuronal health, function and maintenance and stimulates the process of neurogenesis, the production of new neurons.
Aerobic exercise, anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you a bit puffed is what is needed plus finding those opportunities for incidental movement.
Sitting too long ( >3 hours) is bad for our physical health and reduces blood flow to the brain. Sitting still to focus on our work is doing our brains a disservice.
The following video is actually an advert for one of those new activity trackers. I’m not sharing this to encourage you to purchase one. What it is good for is showing how easy it is to incorporate different ways to Move More, with or without a fitness tracker device.
So why not start you own Move More campaign?
Will you be walking to work tomorrow?
Even if you can’t walk all the way perhaps you can make part of your journey on foot, or on a bicycle.
At work, look for every opportunity to stand more: while on the phone, in a meeting, or having a conversation with a colleague.
If you have a desk job, make sure you stand for 5-10 minutes for every hour you spend sitting. Or maybe try a stand up desk or a desk, which can be varied in height.
Choose to use the stairs, or walk that extra distance to your lunch destination. Go for a walk, a jog, a swim or do some yoga in your lunchtime break.
We can all start to implement one small change, to Move More and boost our level of brain fitness, so we can achieve more, feel better and enjoy working with a high performance brain.
What are you waiting for?
Let’s get moving.