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Even a 10-Minute Walk May Be Good for the Brain

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you’re feeling like your brain just doesn’t want to function, but you still have the whole day ahead of you, a new study shows that a 10-minute walk may be the only prescription you need to rev up your thinking. According to Daily Nation, that walk doesn’t even have to be an intense one to do the job. Even a leisurely stroll can improve memory and get you going.

The benefits of movement never end. Our bodies were made to move — from joints to tendons to muscles and, yes, our brains, everything works better when we make it a point to do what our bodies are made to do. And, as you age, it’s basically a case of sit less now or risk not walking later. In other words, as the old saying goes, use it or lose it.

If nothing else, prolonged sitting promotes multiple challenging health conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, certain cancers and lower back pain. Put another way, a large number of studies show that the more active you are — sitting less than six hours a day — the less likely you are to be chronically ill or disabled later.

Put in terms of life years, these same studies show that sitting too much can accelerate your aging process on a cellular level as much as eight years! Taken together, the research is clear that sitting less is a simple, straightforward strategy to fight aging and chronic disease. If you work in an office environment, having access to a sit-stand desk is one of the most effective techniques to slash your sitting time

If you don't have a standing desk, it's possible to fashion one out of a regular desk by propping up your computer on a box or an overturned wastebasket. If standing isn't an option, you can reap many similar benefits by getting up from your chair every 20 minutes and taking a two-minute walk.

When it comes to that walk, be it two minutes, 10 minutes or longer, there’s no doubt about it: For optimal brain and nervous system health, leg movement can improve cognitive abilities. That little walk you take is technically called “nonexercise movement,” and there’s little doubt that this type of movement can help you get and stay healthy.

The bottom line is, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to block out an hour of every day to do aerobics. Rather, simply make it a goal to get up out of your seat and move about. Take a walk after lunch, step in place at your desk or, if you’re interested in a more intense “workout” that only takes four minutes, try my favorite: the Nitric Oxide Dump.

But, whatever you do, whether you’re feeling sluggish or you just want to get on the road to better health, make up your mind to sit less and move more. It’s a motto worth repeating.

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