The Healthy Mind Platter - Physical Time

by DevorahTockar 01 Apr 2021

Article 7 of 8 Theme Focussing on the Healthy Mind Platter created by Dr Daniel Siegel and Dr David Rock

Disclaimer: The original framework of Healthy Mind Platter can be found at https://drdansiegel.com/healthy-mind-platter/ The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the intended views of the creators of the Health Mind Platter; Dr Daniel Siegel and Dr David Rock.

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Exercise.

How often do we get our heart rate up (not including chasing our toddler around the shopping centre)? How much exercise do we need? What about our kids?

The Australian Department of Health recommends that adults exercise for at least 30 min/ 5 times a week, and that children aged 5-11 should be engaging in moderate exercise for 60 min every day! Click here for proof :)

That is a lot! If you are like me, and don’t spend nearly enough time exercising daily, don’t fret- we can do this together!

We can build up slowly- something is better than nothing!

Let’s challenge ourselves and when we sit down with our kids to create our family Healthy Mind Platter lets admit that we may have to work on increasing our daily exercise. Ask your children what they suggest. Maybe they want to do an online family work out, dance freely to music with you, shoot hoops with you outside or go for a bike ride (bonus connection time).

Exercise affects our physical health, cognitive function and brain function by enhancing our learning and memory. Exercise reduces stress, depression and anxiety and protects against cognitive decline.

Click here for more information about the mental health benefits of exercise and how hot and sweaty you actually need to get!

What slows us down and stops us from getting the physical exercise we need?

1. It's boring

2. I don't have enough time

3. I like to walk with a friend and he's busy

4. I don't have a gym membership

5. I'm too tired/warm/cozy

6. It's too hot/cold/rainy/sunny/bright/dark/early/late

7. I don't like getting sweaty

8. I just washed my hair and don't want to ruin it

etc. etc. etc

I recently read that we could replace all of our excuses for not getting something done with the words "it's just not important enough to me". It is a hard hitting statement but it is true. We somehow find the time to do everything that is important to us- and exercise should be at the top of our list. So now read through the above list again and replace each statement with "It's just not important enough to me". If that doesn't get you moving then read this article about the psychology behind why we don't exercise. 

In just 13 minutes, Neuroscientist Dr Wendy Suzuki shares her journey and research that revealed the benefits of exercise for the brain. If you have 13 minutes I highly recommend watching this video- it's fun, funny and exciting! Dr Suzuki shares that exercise improves long term memory and ability to focus, leaving us in a better mood, with more energy, attention and memory. 

Dr Suzuki concludes that exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain right now for three reasons: 

1. Exercise has an immediate effect on your mood, memory and ability to focus- improving your reaction time.

2. Long lasting effects of exercise changes the brains anatomy, physiology and function.

3. Exercise has protective effects on your brain by growing your prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

I was so energised after this talk to take the stairs instead of the lift and have been doing so ever since!

Physical Time Challenge

Pick one and let us know how you go 

  • Know your starting point. If you want to increase your exercise time, set an alarm for ten minutes each day for a week and when the alarm goes off, stop what you are doing and get your heart rate up! The following week increase to 15 min etc.

  • Have fun- 5 minute daily family dance party!!!

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift whenever you can- up or down or both!

  • Go for a bike ride. 

That’s all from me today. Give the challenges a go. They may not be easy at first, but are well worth it as you will see for yourselves. Know that we are in this together and get in touch to take the conversation further.

Chat again soon, 

Devorah T

Disclaimer: The original framework of Healthy Mind Platter can be found at https://drdansiegel.com/healthy-mind-platter/ The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the intended views of the creators of the Health Mind Platter; Dr Daniel Siegel and Dr David Rock.

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