Ever heard that old saying, too much TV rots your brain? Maybe Grandma told you when you went to her house in search of her television? Or maybe your mother told you that in an attempt to get you up and outside, or doing homework?
Although brain rot isn’t being identified in the new JAMA report of research done at the University of California at San Francisco, lower cognitive function, and physical activity are.
A 25-year study of physical activity, cognitive function and television viewing habits shows lower physical activity in individuals viewing more than three hours of television a day. Not only are they less active, but these individuals also performed poorly on the cognitive ability tests given as part of the study. The more television viewed in early adulthood, the more correlation there was with lower cognitive function.
It means that “show hole” you have been in is no good. There are days when you just don’t feel like moving off that couch, and believe me, with joint pain myself I have been there. But what I have learned is that getting off that couch, turning that show off and getting outside is the best I ever feel. My mind clears from the show hole, and it clears from the stress and anxiety of whatever else was happening in the week.
So let’s all stop watching and get moving! As part of Move It Monday, I challenge you (after you finish reading this post), to put on your sneakers and take a walk. Take that run you have been thinking about. Get your bike out, dust it off and take a ride around your neighborhood. See what’s going on in your part of the world with your own eyes. Take that Monday Mile for yourself, or get a friend or your family to take that mile with you (or maybe even your doggie).
Why should we move it more?
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity cardiovascular (aerobic) workout each week, or 1.25 hours of intense cardio a week, or any combination of the two. Strength training is recommended at least two days a week.
Our children need to stop watching television and take a break from those video games. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends an hour or more of moderate to intense cardio activity at least 3 days a week for children. Muscle strengthening is also recommended for an hour or more a week through climbing activities, playground activities or even child weights. Bone strengthening in this age group is also recommended for an hour or more a week. This includes running or jumping activities. Your kids will thank you for it – and you will rejoice their energy is spent and they are ready for bed!
These types of physical activity are good for our bodies over time, to keep muscles strong, provide stability and balance as we age, to help with weight control and disease, and to keep our minds active and clear. People who are more physically active have a lower risk for disabling medical conditions and chronic diseases.
Believe me, when I say it is hard to find that motivation at times, and especially if you have been breaking in that new couch for quite awhile now (in fact maybe you are indented into it)! But once you start moving, that feeling of breathing, and movement becomes something you will crave to clear your mind and experience the world beyond TV and your computer.
Types of Physical Activity You Could Try
If you have joint issues, and chronic pain, it’s important to check with your physician before trying any new physical activity, however, there are many types of physical activity you can participate in.
Low impact workouts are important for people with chronic pain and joint issues. Yoga, pilates, walking, and even some fun aerobic classes can be modified for low impact. Just because you are in need of low impact doesn’t mean you can’t have an intense workout. You can.
For those with no joint issues or chronic disease, start with simple walking or biking around your neighborhood. Build up to a run, or longer walking/cycling routes. Try your local gym or YMCA for classes. You can get out and socialize and workout. If you don’t like group classes, try out their equipment. Hop on that bike or treadmill.
Don’t like the gym atmosphere? Or maybe your neighborhood isn’t conducive to walking. Try at home fitness. With today’s at home streaming capabilities, there are many programs offered at low subscription rates (far lower than a gym). Most at-home workouts have a lot of variation from yoga to weights to cardio. Take 30-40 minutes a day for yourself. Turn the station and get off that couch and workout at home. Or better yet, take that quick walk, and then do a 30-minute workout.
Don’t have the ability to pay for a gym or at home service? Grab a set of weights (or even some canned goods from your pantry) and make your own routine. Do some intense housework even!
As part of Move It Monday – try something new! Turn off that TV and get moving!
Let me know what you try? How are you feeling after just that short workout?