Your Go-To-Guide For

How To Thrive This Holiday Season 

Without Damaging Your Brain Health

Part 3: Exercising during the holidays For Optimal Brain Health

Read Transcript Of Video Below

Welcome to the third edition of the Simple Smart Science Holiday Thrive Guide. I'm Julia Lundstrom, your memory and brain health educator. So it's the holidays once again. It's cold outside for most of you, at least colder than summer for some of you. You're busy, you're stressed and the last thing you want to do or have time to do is make it to the gym.

But exercise is so critical this time of year. Not only is it a stress buster, which we talked about in video one, but it increases your BDNF in your brain, which is the miracle grow protein for your brain and your memory, which helps fight against the stress chemical cortisol that eats away at your memory.

It also increases your good decision making capabilities, which is something you greatly, greatly need this time of year to avoid what I talked about in the second video, which is bad food and alcohol. I get it, a lack of time, cold, scraping the snow off your car window to drive through the slush to get to the gym.

It really doesn't sound like much fun to me either. So I'm going to give you permission to skip the gym this holiday season on the busiest days. You heard me right, skip it and do this instead. In video one, I talked about setting a reminder at the top of every hour. So you're actually going to do it again. And you're going to add an extra minute onto the minute of breathing. At the top of every hour, you're going to do 20-30 squats, or leg kicks, or burpees, or pushups, or just standing up from a chair, running in place, three salutations if you do yoga or whatever you can do.

I mean, you know these exercises. Right? The squat, you just squat down. Just stand up from a chair, running in place, all of these for 30 seconds to a minute, that's what you want to do. You to do something that's going to really get your heart rate up for just that short amount of time.

 My favorite is the burpee or running in place. You can do the same movement the whole day, and then the next day move to another movement to kind of work different muscles. 

Again, if you do this 16 times during the day, that's 16 minutes of movement. If you're doing squats, that means 480 squats, if you do 30 squats at the top of every hour. 480 squats will get your butt in shape, literally this holiday season. See, doing small things in chunks gets you the same result without putting a ton a time in and you can do it anywhere.

They boost your metabolism and the BDNF in your brain, and they get your body moving. I like to do small chunks of exercise after my breathing meditation that I talked about in video one, because I find it gives me a lot of energy to continue my day. But you know, do whatever works best for you. If you want to do the exercise first and then breathe, just do it.

If you want more exercise and you should, you should go for a walk after meals. Just 20 minutes is fine. Make it fun and take somebody with you. Again, the social part being the best thing you can do for your brain health. All right. So that's it. There it is.

There's your three part series on this Simple Smart Science Thrive Guide. If you haven't already, get your pen and paper out and start your brain dump from video one and then set that alarm.

Use a nice sound though, like a gong or something peaceful and calming. Not like an alarm that wakes you up in the morning. No one wants to hear that ever. In fact, wait a second, I hear my alarm going off right now. It's time to breathe and do my exercise. I know I'm looking forward to this holiday season and the magic and wonder it brings with it for me and my family. With that, I hope you have an amazing holiday season with all your friends and loved ones. Go out and thrive. 

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