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May 29

What are some of the baby steps we can all take to increase our brain health? I have told you that simple exercise and exposing yourself to new things (enriched environment) will improve your brain health in numerous ways. However, too many of us balk at implanting either of these because we do not think we have the time and energy to make the big commitment required to get results.

We get stuck into the thinking that big changes both in size and volume are required to produce meaningful changes. But you need to consider that anything is better than nothing. The research out there supports this idea that small steps can make a difference.

Sure it is most likely that 45 minutes of day of aerobic exercise might be the optimum level of exercise (at least most bang for the buck) but other research shows benefits with just 12 minutes a day of exercise. 12 measly minutes – we all have that to spare. Take a slightly longer walk to the bus, from the bus, go up and down several flights of stairs. I have personally found that stair walking is a very simple and efficient way of building fitness. Don’t take the elevator – walk the stairs.A Calgary Stampeders player climbing the stairs at McMahon Stadium during 2007 training camp.

Image via Wikipedia

The next trick is to put in a few extra trip up a set of stairs that are not required in your day to day life – do it for the sheer fun of it (plus the health benefits). I have seen so many people at university where I work punch the elevator button to go up one floor – yes one floor. All ages including 18-22 year old undergraduates. It takes them longer to get where they are going by the time the slow elevators transport them than if they just went up the stairs which are ten steps away from the elevator. Therefore, don’t worry about going to the optimal level just start with something.

Here are a few links regarding stair climbing workout and benefits.







May 19

Previously I talked about taking baby steps to your goals of better brain health by the first two examples I have briefly discussed; exercise and/or enriched environment.

I came across a recent piece in the NY times that discusses using small steps to form new habits (assuming good habits for this argument). In the article they talk about a particular Japanese technique called kaizen, ‘which call for tiny, continuous improvements.” This sound like appropriate baby steps to me. Check it out, hopefully it helps.

So try a tiny baby step to a new health habit today to improve your brain health.

I managed a nice run last night as a near full moon rose after a long day of soaking up new environments, the best I could, as they passed by at 60 mph outside the van window.