8 Easy Exercises to Support Fitness and Brain Health
It’s a well-established fact that a healthy body supports a healthy brain. “To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear,” goes the ancient Buddhist saying. That’s as true today as ever.
Exercise is key to ensuring both body and mind run at peak performance.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthy adults engage in about 150 minutes of exercise each week, which averages out to roughly 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Fortunately, you don’t have to join an expensive gym, or even buy the latest trendy exercise clothes to get a good workout.
Seniors should talk to their doctor before undertaking any new exercise routine. That being said, here are seven simple exercises that pharmacists can recommend for their clients, along with the recommendation that all seniors first consult with their doctor. These activities can be done easily at any time and in any garb:
Walking is an ideal low-impact exercise that gets the blood flowing, body parts moving, and the mind relaxing. Walks in nature can be even more enriching as they provide a calming effect from the hustle of modern life.
Don’t wait for the elevator if your office is just a few flights up. Climbing up and down stairs provides great exercise for your legs and the entire body. In addition to building muscle, stair climbing provides an excellent cardio and aerobic workout.
A classic of elementary school gym class, the humble pushup is still one of the best exercises available for building strength in your arms and upper body. If you’re not ready to get down on the floor again, try a modified wall pushup. Stand a few feet away from the wall, lean forward and push back, repeat!
4: Resistance Training
You can spend hundreds of dollars on a rowing machine, join a sculling club, or use an old towel. The modified rowing exercise calls for you to loop a towel around a poll, small tree trunk or other stable object. Grab both ends of the towel, lean back and then pull yourself to a vertical position.
Another classic exercise, this one can be done on the living room floor with your toes secured under the sofa. Sit-ups provide an excellent workout for your abdomen and back muscles and will strengthen your chest and neck muscles to boot.
Similar to climbing stairs, squats give your legs and lower body a great workout. Place your hands on the back of a chair for stability and then lower yourself down as low as possible. Return to a standing position and repeat. Squats exercise your hips, calves, and hamstrings.
7: Bicep Curls
Pick up an inexpensive set of hand weights at your local drugstore. They shouldn’t be so heavy as to cause injury, but heavy enough to offer substantial resistance. You can even use milk jugs as weights. A one-gallon jug weighs about 8.6 pounds. The exercise builds arm muscle, hand grip strength, and increases bone strength and density. Curls also have been shown to improve stability.
Moving your body to music is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It also can offer a great workout. Blast your favorite playlist as you do your daily chores. You will gain innumerable benefits to heart, mind and soul.
Whatever you do, keep moving! The CDC notes that even some physical activity is better than none. Simple exercises each day can boost your overall health…and your brain health.