Every weekday morning Graham Bright likes to get in an intensive cardio workout mixed in with some strength work.
Mr Bright said the routine set him up for the day, feeling good and mentally more alert.
Exercise and health experts at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute are calling for strategies to maintain healthy blood flow to the brain as a public health priority, particularly given the prevalence of stroke and dementia in the nation’s ageing population.
A study, led by the Institute and University of Western Australia, has found a morning bout of exercise reduces detrimental impact of the pattern of brain blood flow of prolonged sitting in older adults.
Mr Bright, aged 63, said having support of a gym helped him build back his life after a near-fatal motorcycle accident a couple of years ago.
Guidance of a personal trainer has helped Mr Bright to gradually improve his strength and flexibility. He works on his own with a floor program and checks in with his personal trainer each fortnight, which helps hold him accountable.
Mr Bright said without exercise, and building it into his lifestyle, he was not sure what condition he would be in – and he would most likely hang around wasting his mornings, without as much purpose.
“I encourage people to turn it into a habit. This becomes a habit to me now, I want to do it,” Mr Bright said. “The other important thing to keep in mind is don’t expect quick results.
“It’s not only your physical health that improves with exercise, it’s also the mind and the benefits you can’t really see.”
Since Mr Bright has retired, he has stepped up his gym visits as part of his new routine and because he feels good. Mr Bright has had a few injuries creep up but there was always help around the gym, particularly from his personal trainer, to help him adjust his exercises.
Mr Bright said it was not always easy, but getting moving was important.
The study compared how exercise and sedentary behaviour affected brain blood flow in older, overweight adults. It found morning bouts of exercise improved brain blood flow well into the day.
Body and Soul gym offers a morning over-55s class. Meanwhile, the long-standing independent gym joins forces with Genesis Health and Fitness next month in a bid to offer staff and members more opportunity.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.