Inactivity and the Brain Part 3


2014-0823 ExerciseThe article in this post was written by Bell Beth Cooper for the blog Buffer Social. Her article is a little lengthy for me, and possibly a little long for you too. I took the liberty of dividing the full article into a few manageable parts. I enjoyed reading the article, and I hope you will too. I decided to share the article because it delivers an important message and supports the message with facts. Although the message is a bit technical in a few places, the overall message is quite valuable.

2014-0823 Busy Schedule

Article written by Belle Beth Cooper

How exercise is beneficial – more so than ever (continued)

4. Exercise can reduce stress and improve mood

Vigorous activity isn’t just helpful for better sleep: it’s also been found to correlate with lower anxiety levels. That particular review says that exercise isn’t necessarily the cause of the lowered stress levels in participants, but it’s certainly correlated, and based on the other benefits I’ve listed, I doubt regular activity would be a bad thing to try.

Another review showed that physical activity can not only reduce stress but improve overall mood, confidence and self-esteem.

Adding exercise to your daily routine

Convinced? Not sure where to start, though? Don’t worry. Here are some easy ways to add regular bouts of exercise to your routine:

Track your daily activity: Tracking how much you move every day can be sobering when you first start, but it’s a good way to understand how much you might overestimate your daily activity levels. Try an app like Human or Moves to help you understand how much time you spend up and about each day.

Set a reminder: Set up a reminder on your computer or phone to go off every hour or two if you need help getting away from the desk. Use the trigger to remind you to get up and walk around—down the street for a drink, around the block, or just around the room for a couple of minutes.

Build activity into your routine: Building a little bit of extra activity into your routine might be the most effective way to increase your exercise levels. Try getting off train one stop early, going out to your letterbox every day, or choosing a café for your morning coffee that requires a 10-minute walk.

Once you make something like this a habit, you’ll probably find it’s easier than you thought to get moving every day.

Start with just 7 minutes

Get into a routine of regular workouts with just 7 minutes per day. The science-based 7-minute workout is hard, but short. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done. It’s a proven way to exercise your body at home, with just a chair and a wall to work with. In fact, I’m going to go do this one right now. Wish me luck!

2014-0823 7 Minute Workout

Do you have other suggestions? What works for you to increase your exercise levels? Let us know in the comments.


Click here to read another Beyond Injury post.

Thanks to Lee Huff for sharing the article; researchers at Wayne State University School of Medicine for conducting the study; Belle Beth Cooper for summarizing the study in her article; Buffer Social for committing its resources to publishing the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.

Image credits: Huffington Post, Science-based Running, New York Times, Jason Ilagan



    1. Gill, I regularly use a cane not a wheelchair, but I have significant balance issues so I do most of my exercises while seated. As such, most of the exercises are perfect for a wheelchair user as well as a seated user. I don’t do all of the following exercises on the same day, but I do them while seated: shrugs, shoulder press, dumbbell row, bicep curl, rubber band chest extension (I’m not sure what they are called), lat pull down, leg extension, and donkey raises (aka calf raises).

      I use a bench for dips, a rubber band or Perfect Push Up for pushups, and sometimes I use fat grips for chin ups.

      I don’t do lunges because I don’t have the balance. I don’t do pull ups because my elbows cannot handle the movement. ~ Scott

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