VIDEOCAST: When and how to start exercising?

Just 10 minutes of exercise a day is enough to improve our cognitive abilities!

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Just 10 minutes of exercise a day is enough to improve our cognitive abilities! In the next episode of the “Wellbeing Summit” series, two-time Olympic medallist Maja Włoszczowska talks about when to start training and how to find time for it.  

The sports “life after life”  

Maja Włoszczowska is Poland’s most successful mountain biker – she has won two Olympic silver medals (Beijing 2008 and Rio de Janeiro 2016), is a gold medallist of the World Championships in the MTB elite race and MTB marathon, and a multiple European champion and vice-champion.   

More than two years ago, Włoszczowska ended her professional sports career. What does her sports “life after life” look like? How does she find time for physical activity, being constantly on the road and working for the International Olympic Committee?  

“Awareness of the importance of physical activity is definitely growing, but unfortunately it is often the case that although we know about it, in practice, for example, we have to drive the children to school, we have a second job, and life gives us a reality check,” Maja Włoszczowska points out. “And with a lack of time, you need really strong motivation,” she adds.    

Benefits for the health 

Sports, however, should be an integral part of personal hygiene. According to the Olympic medallist, we should not wait until some “magic moment” like the 40th or 50th birthday to include it in our schedule. After all, the most important thing is regularity.   

And the benefits? Just 10 minutes of exercise a day is enough to improve our memory and cognitive skills. The same amount is enough to build proteins that protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Exercising three times a week also means a 20% lower risk of depression.   

How to start exercising? “Best with a personal trainer!” emphasises Włoszczowska. “It’s also a good idea to see a physiotherapist or osteopath to check our physical health. When starting to exercise with some tension, first deal with the dysfunction”.   

Surviving the first weeks  

However, one should be aware that the beginnings can be difficult. “It’s only after a month or two that we start to get so fit that we derive pleasure out of it,” says the champion. “The beginnings are, unfortunately, hard for everyone. When I was returning to sports after an injury, I admit that it was a downright traumatic experience, because I had no energy at all.   

How to find time to be active? “I used to laugh at advice such as ‘park your car farther’, ‘walk up the stairs’,” says Włoszczowska. “Now I have some days when I’m in the conference and airplane mode, and I actually look for any place where I simply can have a bit of physical activity, such as walking up the stairs. All this has a positive impact on us and makes us better at the work we have to do,” she stresses.   

What can you do to survive the initial period of physical activity and not make it boring? This is what you will find out from Jarosław Kuźniar’s conversation with Maja Włoszczowska in the next episode of the “Wellbeing Summit” series!