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The Wonders of Physical Activity

One of the things that clients often ask is, “what can I do to help myself right now?” One of the simplest things you can do is to take yourself out for a walk. It’s free and the benefits are proven!

“There are good data that rigorous physical activity for 30 minutes a day is fairly effective treatment for depression,” says Dr Emanuel Maidenberg, director of the UCLA Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic.  A recent study of over 7000 adults has shown that the optimum amount of exercise for improved mental health is at least 2.5 hours a week (and no more than 8).

Exercise has also been shown to have a positive effect on the brain, with physically active older adults seen to have less brain atrophy, higher volumes of grey matter, and less damage to white matter compared to their more sedentary counterparts. According to Dr John Hart Jr., professor, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas, Dallas, the recipe for warding off dementia in reasonably fit adults is “raising your pulse 20 beats above your baseline for 20 minutes continuously, at least 3 times a week.”

So, warmer days aren’t the only reason to get out of the house and go for a walk!