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Healthy brain

April 24, 2020

Staying active to help your body and mind

Getting fit and staying active on a regular basis is hard enough but with the new self-isolation and lockdown measures things have become increasingly more difficult.




The traditional routes of going to the gym, lifting weights and taking cardio or yoga classes is out of the question. Social distancing is the new social activity but when it comes to staying active how can you get that 30 minutes, five days a week which is recommended?


Studies have shown that staying active not only helps maintain a healthy body, it also helps maintain a healthy mind. A study was conducted on 2,013 adults from 1997 through 2012 which suggested that “cardiorespiratory exercise may contribute to improved brain health and decelerate a decline in grey matter”[1] (which is mostly made up of brain cells). Dr Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic, reported that there was “good evidence for the value of exercise in midlife, but it is encouraging that there can be positive effects on the brain in later life as well”[2]. Additionally, it has also been found that physical activity and physical fitness is protective against aging-related cognitive decline.


What all of this means is that not only is it good for your body, but moderate, regular exercise is good for your brain!

To help you stay fit and keep your mind healthy here are some free fitness apps you can take advantage of right now. They’re easy to use, downloadable on any device and can be done in your home during self-isolation.


Down Dog 

This app company has a selection of fitness apps to choose from. Whether you’re looking for some peaceful stretching or some high intensity cardio work out, they have a selection of different apps to suit everyone’s activity level.

  • Yoga | Down Dog
  • HIIT Workouts
  • 7-minute Workouts
  • Barre Workouts
  • Yoga for Beginners

Down Dog is perfect for people with limited mobility as well. They have stretches you can do in chairs and even yoga exercise to do sitting down. So you can still remain active even when your mobility is limited.


Les Mills on Demand 

For people looking for more of gym experience, Les Mills is offering their classes online for free for 30 day’s right now. These classes have a diverse range of intensity and fitness level. They can be done alone by yourself or shared with your self-isolation buddy.

Try getting a “group” class going by skyping or video calling a group of friends and doing the same class at the same time.


Nike Training Club

Similar to Les Mills on Demand, this app is meant for shorter work out periods with a higher intensity. It also has a great feature where they go through step by step on how to work certain muscles and perform certain workouts in a safe environment.


Additionally, there are non-app related ways to stay fit! Anything that gets you moving in any shape or form is going to be a great addition to your lifestyle and keeping your brain healthy.

  • Gardening
  • Going for a walk, run or bicycle ride
  • Walking up stairs
  • Knitting
  • Cooking
  • Spring cleaning

Original content courtesy of https://neurological.org.nz/.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema and Keren Perez on Unsplash