Fitness

First test your strength, endurance and flexibility to determine how fit you really are. Once you’ve evaluated your fitness level, take time to reassess your goals. Gauge your strengths and weaknesses to help improve your fitness.

Note: Calculate your BMI

Quiz time: How fit are you? 

What different types of activities help for

For overall health, well-being, and energy, you should incorporate all types of exercise into your routine.

If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, then begin by walking. Aim for 30 minutes a day and break it up into three 10-minute walks if that makes it easier. You’ll notice the increase in energy in no time. As you get stronger and more energized, you may want to consider interval training or any other workouts you like.

What counts?

To stay healthy, you should try to be active every day and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.

For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using the car to get around. However, the more you do, the better.

Crucially, you can hit your weekly activity target but still be at risk of deteriorating health if you spend the rest of the time sitting or lying down. Find out how to build physical activity and exercise into your day in the video.

Exercise affects your BRAIN

You may know already, that exercise is good for you, but do you know how it affects the brain? People exercise for different reasons, but only a few people exercise with the intent to improve their brain functioning.

Exercise improves cognitive functioning, mental health, and memory; it also hinders the development of certain neurological conditions.

Any associated function of the brain you can think of, exercise can either improve, optimize specific functions, or prevent undesirable health conditions.

All of these benefits are connected to neurogenesis (the generation and creation of new neurons) and neuroplasticity (synaptic plasticity, or alterations to the strength of already existing synapses).

Exercising immediately increases the level of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline neurotransmitters. The transposition of the three together results in hyperstimulation of the mind, which results in an increased focus of attention and reaction time, for at least two hours.

Exercise has also been shown to promote healthy brain volume over time. One of the chemicals responsible is brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which becomes increased during vigorous exercise. BDNF has been referred to as the brain’s Miracle-Gro protein by scientists, and for good reason; it helps keep the brain youthful by encouraging the growth of new brain cells in a process called neurogenesis.

​BDNF is powerful. Raising BDNF with exercise is a potential weapon in the fight to treat or prevent conditions like Alzheimer and even cognitive aging itself.

Our brain health should be one of our top priorities if we strive for wholesome and happy lives. What better way to show your brain some love than to feed it oxygen via exercise.

The Role of Nutrition

If you have decided to start exercising because you want to be healthier, that’s great. But you are more likely to achieve long-term results if you combine activity with a balanced diet.

​What you eat also has neurological impacts on your brain. Specific diets, combined with exercise, increased BDNF signaling.

​Omega-3 fats and particularly DHA directly support the brain by increasing its supply of BDNF. BDNF not only promotes the creation of new neurons in the memory center of the brain but also acts like a bodyguard to your existing brain cells, helping to ensure their survival.

​While exercise is one of the best overall ways to boost this powerfully protective growth hormone, consuming omega-3 fats, and particularly DHA, is among the best dietary means that we know of.

Learn how to love exercise

While some of the healthiest cultures do not have any formal exercise as we know it, they all live very active lifestyles from the time that they are children until they are in their 80s and 90s.

Unfortunately, average person’s lifestyle nowadays simply isn’t that active.

​Though hitting the gym might not sound like a good time to you, there are people out there, and lots of them, who actually love exercise. They love to run, lift weights, and swim. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to exercise if you were one of them? Find out how to love exercises in 9 steps in the video.

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