Daily activity has shown significant benefits in helping us age well. Structured exercise is best. Structured exercise is designed to raise the metabolism, get stronger, and burn fat more efficiently and consistently. Even if you aren’t able to take part in a structured exercise program, even simple daily movement can improve health. As we age, a region in the brain called the hippocampus starts to shrink. The hippocampus is the region in the brain which is responsible for memory formation, and storage. It is believed that the deterioration seen during aging is the cause for age-related declines in memory. Research has shown that after older adults began to exercise, this region began to re-grow, and their memory improved.
Alzheimer’s disease risk decreases with an increased level of physical activity. The researchers found that those who got the least amount of physical activity were more than twice as likely to develop the disease.
There are a number of things you can add to your daily routine to increase your activity level:
- Clean the house: 15 minutes of doing the dishes (rather than using the dishwasher), folding and putting laundry away, sweeping and/or dusting can make a dent if it becomes part of your everyday routine.
- Park farther away: Add 15 minutes of light walking (in comfortable shoes of course) and burn nearly 50 calories.
- Play with your kids and/or pets: 15 minutes a day would be good for all of you. A walk would also be a beneficial alternative.
- Take the stairs: Even walking up and down stairs burns calories. You can burn 50 calories if you can find a way to use the stairs for 10 minutes.
- Mow your lawn: Believe it or not, 10 minutes of mowing (push) burns over 50 calories. There are numbers of other outdoor hobbies, such as gardening/weeding, which can achieve the same results.
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