Life Transitions: movement instead of exercise

During short dark, cold or wet days, it might be especially hard to get motivated to go outside. But as mammals, our brain and bodies regulate better when we experience fresh air and move freely outside on a daily basis. Thinking of movement for our bodies may be more productive than thinking of exercise. This is especially important for clients with ADHD –  moving and getting “green time” is part of maintaining a necessary baseline to support all executive functions.

This article describes how having an active lifestyle is more important that engaging in specific exercising. If exercising feels like a chore you’d rather avoid, think instead of just moving your body, preferably outside during day time.

“Our bodies change as we age, and you may not always feel able to train intensely. Incorporating achievable movement throughout the day, like standing up for a short while or taking a walk, can make a significant impact.”

According to CDC, “Older adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none. Older adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity gain some health benefits. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.”

Here are some more guidelines from CDC: “As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent or delay many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.”

“Adults aged 65 and older need:

  • At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.
  • At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.
  • Activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot about 3 days a week.”

Elaine Korngold, LPC in Oregon helps older adults with life transitions and also offers ADHD counseling. Contact Elaine to learn more.