This week we are continuing our mental health series with another look at exercise. I have found it to be an essential tool in my PTSD Recovery toolbox, and talk about it extensively in my book, #dealwithit: Living Well with PTSD. Over the next few weeks, Melissa and I will explore a little of the science behind exercise and its effect on the body, and discuss the benefits we receive from daily movement, as well as suggest some ways you might incorporate exercise into your routine.
Exercise improves your brain health in the following ways:
1. The more oxygen to the body, the better for the brain.
2. Exercise is show to strengthen the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning.
3. Studies show that cardiovascular exercise actually creates new brain cells.
Some thoughts on how to work more movement into your daily routine:
1. Get a dog--you will be guilted into walking.
2. Turn it into a competition/game--compete with your spouse or your friends, or just yourself!
3. Turn daily chores into exercise--park far from your building, take the stairs, or ride your bike instead of driving.
4. Learn something new--enroll in a martial arts class, take yoga, or join a league for basketball/baseball/tennis.
5. Get the whole family involved--take the kids to the park to play ball, or go on a hike.
6. Get a coach. Sometimes all you need is someone to get you started.
If you haven't yet made exercise a part of your daily routine, consider it! Reach out and let us know how you're going. We are happy to help!
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