Posts Tagged Exercise
Here are some tips I have come up with to help you with exercise and nutrition:
1) Breakfast – We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but let’s not forget that it is what we eat in the morning that really counts. Some quick and easy items are: cold cereal, low fat milk, juices, whole grain waffles, and fruit.
2) Group Physical Activities – Plan a few weekly events with friends, family, coworkers, fellow students, or neighbors. This could be a weekly walk around the neighborhood, weekend swimming time, a family bike, or a camping trip.
3) Move – If you’re moving you aren’t standing still. Find a way to spend 5-10 minutes of every hour getting up and doing something physical. This may include climbing the stairs, stretching, or walking around the block or office building.
4) Healthy Snacks – Snacking throughout the day doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Try eating carrots, broccoli or whatever your favorite raw vegetable is during the day. This will help boost your energy, keep you full, and will help you acquire the daily servings your body needs to maintain a healthy diet.
5) Work Out – There are ways to get a good workout without having to buy an expensive gym membership. Do some research on at-home workouts, check out your television service offerings, get online, or find books or videos at your local library. They are key to a good workout and working up a sweat. Overall, simply find a way to get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day.
6) Vegetables and Grains – Try to eat more vegetables and grains. Whole wheat pasta or breads like pita can taste good and are good for you. These will give you complex carbs for energy, as well as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
7) Balanced Diet – Too much of anything can be bad, right? Try to balance out your food choices over the day and week. Pick different snacking options and have breakfasts and dinners with health variety. This will allow you to get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Plus the variety will keep you going.
8) Have Fun – Try a new activity or sport. Participate with friends and family. Eating right and getting exercise doesn’t have to be a burden. If you have the right outlook it can be a joy. Making eating right a fun and balanced part of your life while setting realistic, short-term goals.
Manager, Business Development
The book, Spark, by John J. Ratey, M.D. is the holy grail of research applications related to the interaction of exercise, neuroplasticity, and performance. The information on brain chemistry changes in the areas of learning, addictions, anxiety, depression, women’s issues, ADHD, and aging is priceless. The essence of the book is that the data indicated the brain is able to create new neuronal connections, grow new nerve cells throughout life, manage major psychological conditions, pain conditions, and learning is significantly enhanced through exercise. Ratey stated that “exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function”- based on hundreds of research studies (p.245). Ratey suggested that the more fit you get (regardless of where you start), the “ more resilient your brain becomes and the better it functions both cognitively and psychologically. If you get your body in shape, your mind will follow” (p. 247).
How much is enough? Ratey stated that walking is enough. Low-intensity exercise is at 55 to 65% of maximum heart rate, moderate is 65-75% and high intensity is 75-90%. “The process of getting fit is all about building up your aerobic base” (p.251). Ratey goes on to discuss the role of strength training and flexibility as important elements of optimizing your brain chemistry and hormone levels.
What does this have to do with optimizing your performance at work and in all areas of your life? Everything! Get started today and stick with it.
Have a day filled with optimal brain chemistry,
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.
CEO & Psychologist