Exercise Less, Move More

We are all over-worked, stressed out, and encouraged to physically distance from others.  However, now more than ever, we need to care for our physical health and well-being. Don’t let lack of time, resources, or even desire keep you from moving.

Exercise is the one thing you can do to literally change your brain.  According to Dr. Wendy Suzuki, heart elevation through exercise initiates neurotransmitters to release dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. A single bout of exercise impacts the brain immediately making you feel good and improves focus for up to two hours.  Regular exercise contributes to improved short-and-long-term memory as well as increased brain cells.1

For those who dislike exercise, don’t. Just move!

10 Ways To Exercise (without actually exercising)

  1. Step out the front door and go for a walk. Take in the scenery of your neighborhood. Wave to the neighbors. In as little as 10 minutes, your body will begin to release feel-good hormones,. Walk as long as your time and physicality will permit.
  2. Dance for the fun of it. Rediscover the joy of movement. Turn up the speakers and just dance!  Taking in-person lessons may not be possible; however, there are a variety of online dance courses that can be discovered. A quick online search will reveal numerous options.
  3. Clean with a purpose. Make a list of chores to be done. Then, set a timer for 30 minutes. With focus and intensity, tackle the list. You’ll be amazed how much work you can get done when the clock is running.
  4. Have a dog? Walk them 3-5 times a day for 10-20 minutes. Instead of making each trip outside a hurried event for Ruffus to do his business, just take a walk. Let him sniff and enjoy being outside. While he sniffs, look around, breathe deeply, and really listen to the sounds of the environment. Appreciate and enjoy where you live.
  5. Got a treadmill or stationary bike or elliptical? Like books? Pair the two and you have a perfect match. Select an audiobook you have been eager to listen to. Commit to only listen to it while walking on the treadmill or pedaling or activity using any other home cardio equipment. As soon as the book gets interesting, you will want to spend as much time as possible walking or pedaling. You’ll get lost in the story and forget you are moving. The trick is to keep intensity low to moderate so the enjoyment factor remains high.
  6. Build stuff. Whether building a fort with kids or assembling new deck furniture, building requires bending, rotating, picking pieces up off the ground, and brain power. If you like to build or tinker, know that each project is movement in action.
  7. Walk and talk. Instead of plopping on the couch to chat on the phone, put one foot in front of the other and walk around.
  8. Play on the playground. Who says kids are the only ones who can have fun swings, scrambling across the monkey bars, and walking across the balance beam? Heck, we did that back in the day.
  9. Geo-caching. Kids love this and so will you! It’s an outdoor recreational treasure hunt. The goal is to seek and find geocaches (hidden containers) using navigation skills and GPS coordinates.
  10. Go for hike. Put on a pair of sturdy shoes and get outside into the great outdoors. Walk a local nature trail or seek out the closest National Park. Miles of well-worn trails are waiting to be discovered.

Choose activities that are appealing. Commit to moving often throughout the day, and try to stay engaged in an activity for 30 minutes. Not only will your body thank you, but so will your brain.

About the Writer

Kelley Rakow, Health and Lifestyle Coach

Sources:

    1. Benefits of Sunlight

Information presented by W(h)ealth should not be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Consult a doctor and/or medical professional before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.