Resilience Real-Time Podcast

Episode 13: Exercise - How, What and Why


New Year's resolutions are the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button and regain motivation when it comes to making important lifestyle changes. With 2021 nearing, many are beginning to reevaluate their goals and priorities around exercise.

As the pandemic forced people all over the world to live through partial or full lockdowns, it is not surprising that regularly exercising is the first habit people let go of. This year in particular, we will certainly see the media awash with advertisements targeting those who desperately want to make a change. Whilst fitness influencers, gyms and news articles compete to give advice and make a profit, Peta Sigley focuses on the latest research from the World Health Organisation to explore the link between exercise and resilience.

On 26 November 2020, The World Health Organisation published a fact sheet on physical activity and published some alarming statistics. Globally, 1 in 4 adults (1.4 billion people) do not meet the global recommended levels of physical activity and up to 5 million deaths could be avoided if people were more active. For those who don't meet the activity requirements, there is a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are meeting the recommendations. Of particular concern is that more than 80% of the world's adolescents are not doing enough exercise, with girls much less active than boys.

Whilst the physical benefits of exercise are clear, it is important to understand the benefits it can have on cognition and emotional well-being - especially during a time where resilience is being tested by forces outside of our control. Exercising regularly increases heart rate which allows much more oxygen to be pumped to the brain. This improves memory and promotes a great environment for brain cells to grow by promoting brain plasticity. It significantly improves concentration and is brilliant for mental health acting as an antidepressant by reducing stress hormones like cortisol.

As a leader, how you set up a working culture that prioritises health and well-being can be really powerful. Listen to this episode of the resilience real-time podcast to learn more about the how, what and why of exercise and unlock strategies to improve both personal and organisational resilience.

Featuring: Peta Sigley

Host: Simon Cook

Production: Claire Taylor

Music: Josh Jones

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