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Start your exercise routine with a one-minute session

When Adidas signed a 101-year-old man to be their brand ambassador, nobody could have predicted the impact it would have on the mental and physical health of people around the world.

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In 2004, sportswear brand Adidas did something unheard of.

First, they signed football superstar David Beckham to their label.

Then they recruited rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson. All to be expected.

But for their third ambassador of their ‘nothing is impossible” campaign, instead of recruiting an athletic champion or a young heartthrob, Adidas opted for 93-year-old Fauja Singh.

Adidas and the 101-year-old marathon runner 

Starting something new can be scary, and starting a new type of exercise can be downright intimidating. Especially when you see these young athletes in the media breaking world records and winning championships.

But exercise is actually so much more than that.

While improving your fitness is a research-backed way to upgrade your physical and brain health, that doesn’t mean that it has to be hard work or involve anything you don’t want to do. 

If you catch yourself thinking that perhaps you’re too nervous, intimidated, or doubtful to change your physical health, we want you to think of Fauja Singh, the Adidas ambassador.

Fauja only started running at the age of 89. Now, at the age of 101, he has completed nine full marathons, becoming the world’s oldest marathon runner and one of the torch carriers for the 2012 Olympics.

The main lesson here is that you’re never too late to start.

The key to exercise? Finding what restores your joy.

Now, what on earth drives somebody to start exercising at such a late age?

It all came down to his family and his mental health. After experiencing the tragic loss of his son, daughter and wife, Fauja needed to re-establish his sense of purpose and peace.

He discovered his solace in a new form of physical activity: conquering the open road!

Although running was Fauja’s activity of choice, it definitely isn’t the only course of action.

He chose something that restored his joy - and that is the secret to finding an activity you will stick with. 

We all draw from our own sense of inspiration and purpose. 

In our last article, we went over the numerous brain-boosting benefits of exercise and used that motivation to create an image of who we will be in one month, three months and six months. 

Today we’re putting that image into action!

How to carve out your own slice of triumph

Today is the perfect day to join our community of people on the Five Lives app who are just like you, who have decided to prioritise their brain health, and want to get moving to get more out of life, regardless of their age.

The latest recommendations from the World Health Organisation and leading academic research is that your best bet is focusing on cardio-based exercise - i.e., anything that gets your heart rate up.

Excitingly, aerobic exercise has been shown to make brain areas such as the hippocampus (an area in the brain related to learning and memory) bigger and stronger, which means it physically takes longer for ageing processes, and diseases like Alzheimer’s, to take effect.

This doesn’t necessarily mean running a marathon or joining an aerobics class (although that is always an option). It just means moving more!

An easy way to do this is by simply walking more. A 2011 study found that walking just three times a week improved memory and even increased brain size!

Small steps, bigger results

When you start exercising, it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as an entire marathon!

The key is to find something that you love, and that you will stick to. 

It could be:

  • Pilates and yoga poses

  • Burpees, callisthenics and squats in your living room

  • Deadlifts, exercise bikes and rowing machines in the gym

  • Or even just a walk down your street

Whatever you choose, find something that you can stick to for just one minute a day.

Seriously, just one minute

If you can stick to it for one minute every day of the week, that one minute will soon turn into five, then morph into ten. 

And before you know it, you’ll find thirty minutes of exercise is no problem at all.

Make your brain a priority and start with just one minute today!

The Five Lives app is designed to help you check your brain health and improve vital lifestyle factors such as your physical activity level. 

Our app will guide you step by step in all things physical activity, exercise and fitness related to ensure that you’re doing the most for your brain, for yourself and for your loved ones.

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