3 Exercises to Wake Up Your Body and Brain

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Jump-start your mind and muscles every day with these three exercises that challenge your coordination.

Exercise has been linked to a variety of mental benefits: improved mood, clearer thinking, protection from conditions like depression, and more. These exercises focus on lower-body strength, explosiveness, and balance. Add these exercises to your daily routine to stay sharp and strong.

1. March with Overhead Press

This one is pretty simple. Start by marching in place. Just bring your knees up, alternating each side. Only raise your knees as high as feels comfortable and move with control. While you’re marching, press both hands to the sky each time you raise a knee. This is a great exercise for improving hand and foot coordination, while challenging your balance.

2. Squat & Reverse Lunge

Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart, shoulders back and down, and core muscles engaged. First, start with a simple squat. Bend your knees and sink your hips back and down, as if to sit in a chair. Gently lift yourself back up to standing position.

From here, move into a reverse lunge. Step one foot behind you, make sure your back foot is aligned with your front and your front knee is bent. Gently sink down toward the ground until your back knee touches the floor, or as far down as you feel comfortable.

Next, come out of your reverse lunge, stand tall with your legs apart at a comfortable distance and squat. After this squat, move into reverse lunge with your other leg stepping back this time.

This combination of moves helps to engage your mind and body all at once. Repeat the sequence as many times as you feel comfortable and remember to go at your own pace. Feel free to use a sturdy chair or countertop for support.

3. Heel Tap with Alternating Front Press

This is a move you can do anywhere, anytime to get the juices flowing. Start standing in a comfortable position. Tap the heel of your foot out in front of you and as you do, push your opposite hand forward. Alternate each side with your heel tapping forward and the opposite arm pushing toward the front of the room. For an added challenge, switch it up! On your next heel tap, push forward with the arm on the same side of the body as your outstretched leg, then alternate. This is another great movement for improving hand and foot coordination.

This quick exercise circuit challenges both your coordination and your brain. This sequence forces your brain to think while your body moves, ultimately helping to improve your reaction time and overall coordination. Add these exercises to your daily routine to stay sharp and strong.

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