As a society we are moving further and further away from the lifestyle of generations past. We are in search of what is the most efficient way to move through tasks from day to day. In this information age we are bombarded by social media, work e-emails, homework and the constant presence of stimuli. Our ability to accomplish tasks has become more reliant upon our cognitive abilities rather than our physical abilities, like that of our ancient ancestors. I am not one to type this article (tongue in cheek) and preach about the need to go back to our roots. What I would like this article to do is motivate our readers in their fitness journey, beyond the physical results of fitness.
Establishing healthy lifestyle habits is an essential part to worthwhile longevity. Without movement (exercise), nourishment, and recovery (sleep) we will never be able to fully unlock our potential as human beings. This applies to our cognitive ability as well! We are going to talk more specifically to the effects that exercise has upon mental health and longevity, with smaller touches on nourishment and recovery (sleep). We must challenge the body in order to support cognitive health.
One of the tools we utilize in exercise for adaptation is variation. This simply means doing different tasks. A key role that exercise variation can play outside of the physical is the neurological adaptation created. By learning and completing new physical tasks you are promoting healthier brain function! Not to say that our client base is competitive or anything, but this might make you more effective than others you work with (wink, wink). Many studies suggest that the areas of the brain responsible for memory and thinking have greater volume in people who regularly exercise.
Low effort aerobic activities have massive benefits to cognitive ability especially as we age. Increasing the strength of the cardiovascular system is an excellent benefit of exercising in a programmed manor. Utilization of the cardiovascular system in every day life through low aerobic efforts is equally important for sustainable long term health benefits. If you exercise you will be able to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells. Some key factors to look at for benefit are improved sleep, mood, and stress management. These lifestyle choices are in a loop that support health or support disfunction.
Low effort aerobic activities sound pretty rad, right!? Right. Go walk. That is all we want you to do. You don’t have to double down on your workouts, or do some crazy bike session. We have you covered in the gym. Where you can make one of the most important daily decision of your long term health is to go for a 20 minute walk. Every single day go for a 20 minute walk. The same way one saves money for the future is the same way this daily healthy habit can pay longer term dividends in warding off potential diseases associated with aging and lifestyle. I would like to challenge anyone who is reading this to take a picture during you daily walk and tag Total Pursuit Athletics on whatever form of social media you choose. This is not a challenge for an amount of time, but rather an opportunity to create accountability for one of the most important habits you can create. Whether you go solo for meditation, take your family for bonding, or go with your pets we implore you to get out and move just a little bit more.