Did you know you can avoid the negative mental effects of aging & even Alzheimer’s disease by simply staying fit? Research has shown that improving your fitness level may improve your brain health and slow down the aging process.

A recent study found that those who had a higher fitness level had improved brain health and did better on memory tests compared to those who had lower fitness levels. Even the nerve fibers in the brains of those who were less fit deteriorated quicker than those who were fitter.

Moral of the story: stay/get fit if you want to keep your memories and your wits when you’re older. Need help? Check out our 5 Fitness Hacks below:

1. Make Exercise a Priority

We are all guilty of saying we are too busy to exercise. Yet, we somehow find time to watch our favorite show every night. How about we put that TV time to some good use?  You don’t even have to leave the couch! If you prefer The Bachelor or This is us… there is a TV show workout out there for you. Check out our .

Pro Tip: If you struggle to exercise often, commit yourself to at least 10 minutes of exercise before your morning shower. After a few minutes, you’ll have energized yourself for the day!

2. Meditate to Keep Your Mind Clear

Set aside at least five minutes to meditate every day. Meditation can be done by deep breathing, yoga, practicing mindfulness or turning off your phone and enjoying the silence. Daily meditation will reduce stress, improve sleep, and improve immune function.

Pro Tip: Use yoga to get rid of a headache faster! Doing yoga will improve circulation, stretch out your neck and shoulders and help you relax.

3. Meal-Prep Healthy Lunches

Weekdays can get overwhelmingly busy, and in the rush, we often make poor choices for lunch like fast food, the leftover food on your child’s plate or whatever snack is closest to you. Avoid that situation altogether by meal-prepping. Pick a day to cook meat, boiled eggs, chop veggies and more. Take the time to meal-prep so when you are in a rush you can make a healthy choice.

Pro Tip: If you really don’t have the time or the patience for prepping your own meals look into meal prep delivery such as Hello Fresh, Winder Dairy or Blue Apron.

4. Turn Your Stress Into Laughter

Nothing sucks the life out of you like traffic. But instead of being upset about inching along the freeway, why not listen to an entertaining podcast? Laughing along to a funny podcast can make the time go by faster, help you decompress from life, and help you forget that you’re moving at a snail’s pace.

Pro Tip: Stuck in the car with the kids? Check out this awesome list of family-friendly podcasts:  https://www.fatherly.com/play/the-best-podcasts-for-kids/

5. Get Enough Sleep!

1 in 3 adults isn’t getting enough sleep. Yikes! Lack of sleep negatively affects your mood, concentration, metabolism, memory, stress hormones and your immune system and cardiovascular health. Create a nightly routine so that your body is wired to go to bed at a certain time.

Pro Tip: Put your screen away about an hour before you want to be asleep.

Bonus Hack : Write down what being fit means to you

What healthy looks like is different for everyone. The biggest mistake we run into when trying to live a more fit life is using someone else’s expectations as our own. The key to staying healthy and fit is figuring out your own definition of fitness and how you’ll stick to it. Do what you can manage. Use this definition to write down how you plan to be more fit.