Many of us are less active than we’d like to be. We’re sitting more and running less. Being less active can have a negative effect on your physical body and your mental health. Being physically active keeps your body healthy but it’s also important for brain health.
No matter what your age, getting in some physical movement every day is vital. Taking even a short break every hour from the sitting position can ease your muscles, improve circulation, and wake your brain up. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO), has launched a campaign called Be Active, which encourages everyone to more active in a fun and motivating way.
Get Active at Home
Here are some great tips to get you started:
Physical activity–even a few short minutes a day–can help:
- Build bone and muscle strength
- Increase flexibility
- Reduce high blood pressure, risk of stroke and heart disease
- Build immunity
- Help maintain a healthy weight
Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
In addition to the physical benefits, exercise can help keep your brain healthy too. According to Michael Otto, PhD, professor of psychology at Boston University, “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.” Research also shows that the benefits of being active extend beyond short term and can help alleviate anxiety and depression, reduce the risk of cognitive decline, and delay the onset of dementia.
Your How-To Guide to Being Active at Home
When you can’t go to the gym, there’s no reason to forgo your workout routine. Some of the best ways to stay active at home include:
- Calisthenics – this is a form of exercise that uses your own body weight to work out your major muscles. You can do push ups, squats, crunches and planks in any room of your house and still watch your favorite television shows while you work out.
- Cardio – Not everyone has a treadmill at home. If you do, make good use of it. If not, there are plenty of alternatives to get your heart rate moving. You can run in place, do jumping jacks, or walk in place. For one of our favorite walking at home videos, check out Kathy Smith. Not only is she a fitness expert, she’s also an avid BrainTap enthusiast. She has hundreds of videos in her library of at home cardio workouts to get you moving. For an example, click HERE. If you want to hear Dr. Porter’s recent interview with Kathy Smith click HERE now.
- Yoga – This is a great option for maintaining stretch and flexibility. Yoga is also great for lowering blood pressure and maintaining calm and focus. If you’re not familiar with yoga or haven’t practiced in a while, HERE’S a great place to start.
- Dance it out! You don’t have to do structured exercise to stay active. Put your favorite tunes on and just dance! Have fun with it. Boogie with the kids or the spouse. Research shows that just moving your body makes a world of difference. If you’re someone that needs structure or help getting the steps down, THIS video is a fun one to get you started.
- Clean it. Believe it or not, it is also helpful to engage in some leisurely activities as long as you’re up and moving. Clean the house or do some gardening. Not only will you have the satisfaction of a chore checked off your list, your heart and brain will thank you for getting moving.
Now is a great time to invest in your health and well-being in new and exciting ways. Don’t be afraid to try something new as long as it gets you moving.