Lets talk about movement as a medicine team 😀
BUT FIRST, I loved hearing a message from a 4 week group memeber that she is fitting into her jeans that she couldnt fit into before pregnancy! Woohoo! Congrats Amanda !
Scientists are saying that if exercise was a drug it would be the most valuable drug ever developed! It makes us feel that good!!
In the last series, we went over some fun yoga dating stories and habit building tips featuring moments in the romantic NYC. This week we will wrap up the NEW YORK TRAVEL series delving into the brain benefits of movement, my 3 favourite fun fit moves ending with my top 7 tips to have fun and keep healthy on the go!
We are living in a great time! A time that technology and apps are helping us take more steps per day. Apps will most likely continue to keep us accountable for our physical movement in the future, especially as our schedules get more packed.
Do you get a chance to move around for at least 30 minutes everyday? With the increasing number of desk jobs, scientists are suggesting that in terms of dangers to health that sitting is the new smoking! YIKES!
Sometimes life gets the better of us and we can’t make it to a group class or the gym. That is okay though and through acceptance we can choose alternative means of movement that improve our health! There is no excuse not to stay active to keep balanced and focussed on our goals.
In a study by Ashlee McGuire and fitness expert Fred DeVito quoted by Forbes Magazine reminds us that starting slowly with exercise is best. Since we are well-informed of the benefits of keeping active, some examples are featured below as some tips to build up our exercise in smaller increments over the course of our days. The authors in the study mentioned above, underline that people who engaged in more activities in their daily routines had significantly better heart-lung function than people who did less. Every little bit counts Green Team!
Exercise is sometimes overlooked!
Exercise marketing messages teach us that working out makes weight loss more efficient, but the benefits way surplus just the physical changes. The improvements and impacts on our brains go way further especially showing more responsive rates for learning, managing anxiety, elevating mood and refining focus! This is exceedingly important in our society today given the number of things pulling at our attention on a daily basis.
The benefits could well be due to the improvements in oxygen flow through our entire system during movement and exercise. According to the ASCD Oxygen is essential for brain function, and enhanced blood flow increases the amount of oxygen transported to the brain. Exercise would therefore be a reliable source of improving this oxygen circulation through our bodies. With improved oxygen flow we can link the process as to why exercise lowers stress and improves learning, anxiety, mood and focus! This is fantastic news because the more oxygen that flows through our body, the more energy we have to be able to execute our daily tasks with higher efficiency.
There are such powerful links for brain and movement connections! Currently, the MEDLINE database shows more than 33,000 scientific articles on the topic of exercise, and the vast majority of them confirm its value. One study showed that people who exercise have far more cortical mass than those who don’t (Anderson, Eckburg, & Relucio, 2002). With us being in the information age, it would be a great idea to improve our brain mass as we move into further intelligence as a species. I love learning, it makes me feel so great and understanding a perspective like this is encouraging for the keen learners, like me and maybe you too!
Movement sends learning signals to our brain that something important is happening, which considering our ancestral times would have been for survival from predators. When we are lazing around not moving, the brain is being convinced that learning is not necessary. It is important to have times to relax, refresh and laze around to recharge. This only becomes an issue when we become more sedentary than active in regard to our brain development and stress management. Stress raises a hormone called cortisol and when we make time to exercise, this hormone is reduced and balanced out. This is important because stress with regard to lifestyle disease is one of the leading causes of illness in society.
What are some of your favourite exercises or movements? How can you participate in them more often?
My top 3 techniques for having fun and keeping fit that I loved when I was NYC :
- Push ups
They can be done anywhere and anytime ! To ensure that I get some in, I choose to find a surface in my room is most times while on the go, as it is a whole body exercise and is quite challenging, especially with feet elevated. It is a great whole body workout that only entails our own body weight! Hooray to push ups! Some modifications can include knees on the ground or even wall push ups. I love these when travelling and even add in some push up twists!
for at least an hour is another favorite for me while travelling. I love walking because it is so relaxing and according to American Journal of Sport Medicine AJSM recommends walking for 30-45 minutes daily reduces blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health. Walking is best perceived in my opinion as having the ability to move the body while having an experience, and the sense of being outside is so fulfilling whether it is in a city or closer to nature! It was becoming quite cold and therefore having a hat and gloves was pretty useful for cold weather keeping active.
- Dancing time is my other favorite because sometimes you just can’t make it to the club or have energy to get out and playing your fave mix and dancing around the room is super fun! Your heart will thank you in many ways and I fully recommend this one! Head- bangers and all! When I was in New York, upon rising I would put on music and dance around to start the day! It is so fun!
Play time as exercise could be a great strategy for the implementation for an exercise that you love. There are so many ways to get active these days and a benefit of exercise to enhance social skills, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution ability (ASCD).
So lets love more, move more, play more!
In conclusion my top tips for travel and staying on track include:
- Balance your carb intake with loading up on veggies!
- Find veggies on the menu and order them!
- Eat small portions by taking home the extras or share your meal with a friend!
- Stay hydrated with water and also Drink tea and green juices. A little coffee here and there
- Move more in a way that you love and go on active dates. Your brain will love you for the movements
- It doesn’t have to be so serious. Play, fall and forgive quickly!
- Remember it takes a minimum of 21 days to make a new habit but it could take months. Keep going!
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Nutritionist (BSc) & Qualified KBELL & TRX Personal Trainer
Precision Nutrition Performance Coach
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