A healthy body really does mean a healthy mind.
As well as nutrition, it’s important to take care of your body with regular exercise. You’ve probably heard the doctor mention this, that woman on TV has mentioned this, and probably the annoyingly fit and active cousin in your family has, too. It’s a cliché because it’s such valuable advice.
EXERCISE DOESN’T NEED TO BE STRENUOUS
A few short periods of, say, half an hour exercising each week is enough. If you live two or three miles from your office, you could probably get everything you need by simply walking to and from work more often than not.
Over the years I’ve tried many things and only a couple have seemed to really exhibit results for me (whilst I’m sure no exercise I’ve tried has been bad!). I know someone who works in central London and runs in from one of the outer suburbs every single morning. I wish I had that kind of dedication, but I do know for certain that it definitely beats being pressed up next to someone else’s armpit on the rush hour tube!
WHY BOTHER WITH A GYM?
Establishing a regular gym routine can be a great way to keep fit as well as improve your strength and physical resilience. I tend to aim for three gym sessions each week (usually two mornings before I start work and then one session at the weekend).
The important thing is to find something that you can fall into an easy routine with and that works for you. (For a while I was trying to do four sessions a week and I found that I was exhausting myself). For me, the gym is a million miles better than running: I get a more strenuous workout, I build strength by using a lot more muscles in different ways and I can treat myself to a sauna and Jacuzzi at the end as well. It’s worth saying that many of us struggle to fit the gym in to our regular routines.
It can be easy to lose momentum and get stuck. We have an inner monologue telling us the bed is warmer, that we don’t have the time, that we don’t have the energy, that we have more important things to do and so on. Celebrate it when momentum is good, but please don’t beat yourself up if there’s a week when it doesn’t quite happen. It won’t make a huge difference in the short-term. Ninjas are human beings, after all.
EXERCISING AT HOME
If you don’t have the time to get to the gym, or the money for a regular gym membership then why not incorporate a gym style workout into your home routine? All you need is enough floor space to do push ups, squats and core
strength exercises like the plank and you’re away. A quick surf around YouTube will give you all the instruction you need to get started. Likewise, if you’re going to the supermarket, why not run there rather than walk? You can do arm and chest strength exercises whilst carrying home all those heavy items! There’s really no excuse!
The whole purpose of exercise in terms of its value to attention management is to keep your body active. Keep your muscles working, your lungs working, your digestive system and metabolism working and you’re more likely to have a better functioning brain. You’re also less likely to get ill, which of course is an immediate and humongous sap of energy and attention.
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