Brain Workout!
March 30, 2023

by Liz Reid

So, we’ve settled into 2023 nicely now. Spring is finally and fully here, after Winter lost her grip on us and we can enjoy the joys of Easter this month! 

So, we’ve settled into 2023 nicely now. Spring is finally and fully here after Winter lost her grip on us and we can enjoy the joys of Easter this month! 

Health and fitness is not just about keeping the body physically active, fit and challenged but ensuring you have a fit and happy mind too. It’s easy to neglect with the pressures of life and what we all have to juggle and manage. Getting overwhelmed when life is busy, causes stress easily and if that stress isn’t released, both the mind and body can easily suffer. Stress can cause postural problems, coupled with poor sitting and standing positions can really take its toll on our overall health. 

Your brain is an incredible organ and performs a thousand basic actions every single second of the day and night. It processes around 70,000 thoughts a day, using over 100 billion neurons! Even when you’re sleeping, the brain is busy managing all systems. A lack of sleep can really affect your performance the next day, so it’s important to ensure you get enough sleep. Try not to get hung up on sleeping for 6-8 hours in a solid block, but look at the overall total and if you’re sleep deprived, then have a nap to catch up or grab an earlier night. 

The saying ‘use it or lose it’, not only applies to the body and its muscles but your brain too. Muscles start to atrophy after 3 weeks of lack of use, which is scarily fast. If we want to maintain muscular health and strength, it’s not going to happen sitting in front of the telly! Similarly, you’ve got to keep your mind stimulated and give it a daily workout too. Challenging your mind greatly helps counter the ageing process, helping to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s possible for the brain to make new neurons in adulthood. Learning new skills strengthens connections and helps the brain to function quicker and enhance performance. Activities such as crosswords, quizzes, and bingo all improve your brain function. Learning something new, from going to a new exercise class to learning a language, can have a hugely beneficial impact on your brain health and consequent happiness. You’re never too old to learn the piano, so why not?! 

If time is your reason, then it’s important to sit yourself down and tell yourself you’re making excuses. If you use a Smartphone, just check out your screen time and you’ll see exactly how much time you spend daily on your phone and how much time is allocated doing what. You’ll be shocked! So, instead of spending perhaps 4 hours of your entire day on social media, why not spend an hour challenging your brain with something more productive? You can play Chess on an App or learn a language on Duolingo. There are many useful and FREE Apps out there to help you, including audiobooks which are interesting to listen to, entertaining and you can learn so much.

So, it’s important to not only keep your body active but also your brain; it loves a workout too! Pilates is a unique set of specific exercises which actually work your mind as well as your body. The Pilates Breathing Technique helps connect and re-balance your mind, body and soul, as you have to focus on the technique and the exercises help you to focus on working specific muscle groups. This is why after even your very first Pilates class, you feel energised and exercised, yet rested and relaxed. Allowing yourself an hour to practise Pilates is such valuable time for you. Do something new and if you fancy Pilates, you can try your first trial class for £8 and choose to attend at the venue or on Zoom. Membership gives you access to up to 3 classes a week, FREE household Zoom membership and access to Pilates videos on the Web site! Maximum flexibility. Maximum class choice! Balance of body and mind and happiness is the ultimate goal!