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1. The Real Happy Pill

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“Alright, I am in. What should I do?”

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Benefits of exercise on the brain

  • Stress reduction
  • Increased concentration
  • Better memory
  • Better mood and treating depression
  • Improved creativity
  • More brain cells – literally a bigger brain!
  • Better connectivity and efficiency of the brain
  • Better executive control (planning, taking initiative, focus)
  • Reducing, even reversing, the effects of ageing

Task

– Go for a 30-minute walk before continuing. It will help you focus on and remember the content in the rest of the course.
– If you are currently not doing any kind of exercise, now is the time to make a change. Below are some simple examples of exercise programs that provide clear benefits for from the perspective of brain health and general wellbeing.
Easy: Walk 30-60 minutes 3x/week on Mon-Wed-Fri
Intermediate: Do the Easy program and add running* 2-3x/week on Tue-Thu-Sat
Full: Add one day of weight training to Intermediate.
*Or similar endurance exercise that elevates your heartbeat.
– Moderate intensity, such as light jogging for 20 minutes is enough to elevate BDNF. Vigorous intensity, such as running for 40 minutes is even better.
TIP: Module 3 on Atomic Habits will provide you more tools for making exercise a regular habit!

Note: If you already have a working exercise program and habit, skip this section and keep at it!