BE AC­TIVE & RE­TAIN BET­TER CLAR­ITY OF THOUGHT

How ac­tiv­ity can im­prove think­ing, mem­ory & re­move brain fog

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Jenny Brockis

Stay­ing ‘on your toes’ is the ex­pres­sion mean­ing that we’re di­rect­ing our en­ergy to fo­cus on what we’re do­ing. Which is not a bad thing to do, given we’re liv­ing in this crazy, busy, su­per-fast world where it is crit­i­cal to en­sure that we get all our tasks done and with fewer mis­takes. It turns out that stay­ing on our toes is also ex­actly what pro­vides the best ac­tiv­ity to re­tain greater clar­ity of thought.

WE THINK BET­TER ON OUR FEET.

Sev­eral stud­ies have looked at the neu­rocog­ni­tive ben­e­fits of stand­ing when learn­ing. One such study in 2016 showed how the use of stand­ing desks im­proved ex­ec­u­tive func­tion and work­ing mem­ory in high school stu­dents, in­di­cat­ing how chang­ing our en­vi­ron­ment is a sim­ple way to en­hance cog­ni­tive func­tion and ef­fec­tive learn­ing.

SIT­TING IS THE NEW SMOK­ING.

We sit way too much. While sit­ting is not harm­ful, sit­ting for pro­longed pe­ri­ods of time re­duces blood flow to our head and thus re­duces our abil­ity to think well. It’s about mov­ing more and sit­ting less. In­creas­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity by one hour has been shown to im­prove cog­ni­tive func­tion, even in the pres­ence of Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

RE­DUCE BRAIN SHRINK­AGE BY SIT­TING LESS.

A new study has re­vealed the more we sit, we greater the amount of shrink­age that oc­curs in the area of the brain that is im­por­tant to the for­ma­tion of new mem­ory and learn­ing. In this small study the re­searchers noted that in­creased seden­tary be­hav­iour was a sig­nif­i­cant pre­dic­tor of thin­ning of the brain that could be off­set by in­creas­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. Brain at­ro­phy is as­so­ci­ated with age­ing, but why choose to add to this by re­main­ing too seden­tary? It’s time to move more.

CHANGE YOUR WORK­ING EN­VI­RON­MENT.

What­ever your role, look for ways to stand up more dur­ing the day and help re­tain greater clar­ity of thought. An in­creas­ing num­ber of com­pa­nies now pro­vide the op­tion of work­ing by us­ing a vari­able height desk. If your boss re­mains to be con­vinced, it’s time to take mat­ters into your own hands and choose to stand: • when on the phone • when hav­ing a face to face con­ver­sa­tion • when at­tend­ing a meet­ing • when meet­ing a col­league for lunch of cof­fee • when read­ing.

CHANGE WHAT YOU DO AT HOME.

It’s been es­ti­mated that many of us spend around 4-5 hours per day be­ing seden­tary at home watch­ing TV or Net­flix and

in­ter­act­ing with our dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. This adds up to sit­ting for two months of the year! Try tot­ting up how much time you spend sit­ting per day on leisure ac­tiv­i­ties and then look for how you could re­duce this time. Keep ask­ing your­self – where could I be stand­ing more? How can I sit less and move more?

TO BE MORE AC­TIVE, YOU COULD:

1. Choose to stand while watch­ing a screen. 2. Put the tread­mill or ex­er­cise bike in front of the TV. 3. Choose to switch off from your tech­nol­ogy for an hour each evening and un­der­take some phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in­stead. 4. Park and walk, when­ever you can. 5. Try an ac­tiv­ity tracker - it’s a pow­er­ful mo­ti­va­tor to help you reach your ac­tiv­ity tar­get. 6. Be grate­ful for be­ing kept wait­ing in line – it’s an op­por­tu­nity to be on your feet. When it comes to im­prov­ing brain health and func­tion, it’s of­ten the lit­tle things we do that help us to ‘stay on our toes’. Be ac­tive and re­tain greater clar­ity of thought.

Dr Jenny Brockis is a Med­i­cal Prac­ti­tioner and spe­cialises in the science of high per­for­mance think­ing. Jenny’s ap­proach to over­com­ing life’s chal­lenges is based on prac­ti­cal neu­ro­science which en­ables peo­ple to un­der­stand their thoughts and ac­tions lead­ing to ef­fec­tive be­havioural change. Jenny is the au­thor of ‘Fu­ture Brain - the 12 Keys to Cre­ate Your High-Per­for­mance Brain’ and may be con­tacted via her web­site.

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