Think working your way to a healthier body and brain means hitting the gym for hours at a time? Think again. Brain health is something we can work on in every area of our life. In fact, the more conscientiously we incorporate brain-healthy activities into our lifestyle in different ways, the more likely they are to become part of our everyday routine.
For many of us, going to work is already part of our everyday routine. Making small changes at the workplace is a great way to start. A typical workday is full of hidden exercise opportunities. Here are 10 simple tricks for sneaking exercise in at the office. Do as many as you can and watch the minutes add up. Scientists say it takes just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day to activate brain benefits.
1. Park your car in the farthest spot of the parking lot and walk to your office door.
2. On the phone? Stand up, walk around, even do a few sets of leg lifts, squats, leg extensions and arm curls to move your muscles while you talk.
3. Instead of telephoning or e-mailing an office colleague about a project, walk to their office to talk face to face.
4. Skip the elevator. Always.
5. Use your commuting time constructively. Practice good posture and deep breathing. Just be sure to stay safe and aware of your surroundings.
6. Instead of going to lunch at your favorite restaurant, pack a brain-healthy picnic and take it to a destination a few blocks away.
7. Start up a lunchtime walking group. Working out with others reinforces the desire to exercise and makes it fun.
8. Sit up straight! Staying posture-conscious will keep your core muscles working all day.
9. Step away from your desk and take a five minute relaxation break each hour (or a 15-minute meditation break if possible). The deep breathing calms your mind and helps recharge your brain batteries.
10. If you live within a few miles of your job, ride your bike to work at least once a week.