Reboot brain and body
For 2019’s National Physiotherapy BackWeek (1-8 September), the South African Society of Physiotherapy is challenging employers and employees to schedule brief ‘Brain Breaks’ to boost brain power!
Exercise is not just good for a toned, healthy body – it’s also good for a toned, healthy brain. “Our brains work better if we can squeeze a solid chunk of exercise into each day,” says Professor Witness Mudzi, President of the South African Society of Physiotherapy. “For the 2019 National Physiotherapy Back Week, we’re challenging everyone, from school learners to executives to carers, to find creative ways of ensuring that they get regular exercise or movement during the day. We call them brain breaks, as they’re so good for refreshing mental sharpness.”
Tips for sneaky exercise:
Work out at lunchtime. If your office has a gym, doing half an hour is easy; otherwise put on some comfortable walking shoes and head for the nearest shopping mall, office park or green space for a walk.
Take an active break every half hour. Go upstairs or down to make coffee; walk to a different office for a meeting; take a walking meeting with a colleague.
Go the long way. Park far from the mall entrance when shopping; take the stairs instead of the lift.
Do it the hard way. Make it a matter of pride that you never use the escalator, you always take the stairs; scrub your floors at home; mow your own lawn.
Get a dog and walk it. Dogs need the exercise, too, and they depend on you to give it!
Keep a couple of hand weights at your desk and use them while taking calls.
Ask your physiotherapist about exercises you can do using chairs, walls and window ledges. You’ll be amazed – simply doing squats sliding up and down your office wall can be quite demanding!
If you need to sell your boss (or yourself) on the idea of taking brain breaks every day, just remember: there’s evidence regular physical activity leads to better on the job performance, physical resilience (less absenteeism), more enthusiasm and, less stress. What’s not to like?
Article courtesy of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP)