The impact that relying on cars for transportation has on our bodies is profound. Our door-to-door, car-centric culture brings with it an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and early death. It turns out that it’s not just our bodies, but also our minds that are suffering from our car-enhanced sedentary lifestyles.
Don’t cut that PE class! In 2006, Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois used MRIs to prove that aerobic exercise builds gray and white matter in the brains of older adults. Later studies found that more aerobically fit grade-schoolers also perform better on cognitive tests.
A separate study found that aerobic exercise can also help to stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s among older people.
Low-impact aerobic activity is the ticket – just walking or cruising around on a bike an raising the heart rate slightly will do the trick. In fact, just using mass transit helps people to trim the fat and stay healthy. The short walks to the bus or subway station and to your destinations adds up.
Setting aside exercise time in one’s day may seem like a daunting or unlikely task. To me, the obvious solution is to incorporate exercise into your daily activities: your work commutes, or when you’re running errands. This is a time-effective way to keep your body and mind in tip-top shape for years to come.
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