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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Gonzales

If You Haven't Exercised Today, Your Brain is At-Risk

Let's face it. For those of us closing in on the big 5-0, (and many of my friends who are already there), we're doing as much as we can to improve the functionality of our brains. Thank goodness exercise has an impact on brain power, as its nice to know I'm doing my brain some good while out on a run.

Thinking of blowing off that workout? Think again. And if you're in a leadership role, really rethink that workout.

Moderate workouts stimulate the brain's working memory. No argument there. Even a short stint of aerobic exercise kicks in different parts of our brains. This is a good thing. Consider taking a walk around the block during the work day, maybe even as a walking meeting, so that you can get a bit more of that aerobic activity going, and perhaps even better decision making and functioning thoughts.

Let's look at the brain another way. The hippocampus. The part of your brain that allows for the functioning of learning and memory. When are getting sufficient exercise, this area is stimulated and it grows - even in the elderly. I'm not sure about you but I can use more brainpower. Exercise is a no-brainer.

Still not convinced?

According to the American Heart Association: “Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950; physically active jobs now make up less than 20% of our workforce. In 1960, about half of the U.S. workforce was physically active. Our average workweek is longer. Full-time workers in the U.S. work about 47 hours working each week – that’s more than 350 extra hours worked each year.”

We're asking our people to sit more. Think obesity and other factors that are affecting our employees. We need to lead by example and be the models of good health. Exercise and time to take care of ourselves should be factored into our work day.

But there's more...

Exercise increases energy and decreases stress (unless, of course, you're a marathoner and we can address this in a separate article). Exercise makes you feel good and improves your mood.

Still not sold?

Those who exercise get better sleep, particularly if they get more than 150 minutes a week. So we have sleep, good moods, energy, reduced stress, obesity-reduction....enough reasons to get out, get exercise, model it for others, and start a trend....a trend toward great health.Save

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