Three exercises that just might change your world

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How you look matters a lot less than how you feel.

Your brain’s health dwarfs all other anatomical areas.

But it’s true science that how we do in so many key areas of life is heavily influenced by whether or not we’re taking care of these vessels of clay. And in the earliest stages of 2019, we humbly suggest three exercises to make this and subsequent years at least a little bit better. These aren’t original thoughts. Consider them loving reminders.

EXERCISE YOUR GRAY MATTER. Your brain is kind of like your stomach. You have choices about what you put in it, and the consequences will reflect the efficacy of those choices. With all due respect to people who love reality TV shows or spend hours every day on Facebook and their smartphones or are devoted to echo-chamber news outlets, consider an alternative.

What’s the last great book you read? When were you most recently inspired by artwork or music? Are there puzzles or other logic games you find both entertaining and invigorating? The benefits of all these things are at least somewhat verifiable. Doing puzzles and the like well into old age has proven to sharpen memory and reasoning for many people.

Fill your brain with a healthy diet and the results might border on miraculous.

EXERCISE YOUR BODY. Just get your heart pumping. Unless you have a medical condition, putting that muscle to work regularly won’t simply improve your life; it could save it. Check out the vast array of options if you’ve decided that a health club membership will keep you going back for more of what your body needs. Take walks inside the mall when the weather is bad, or outside for some more natural enjoyment. (Hint: Keep your cellphone in a pocket.) Simple stretching regimens in your living room can radically reduce common aches and pains.

Bottom line: As long as you’re moving, you’re going in the right direction.

EXERCISE YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF. We’re not going to go all Zen on you. But no matter which spiritual pursuits resonate with you as a self-determined human being, see if you can build upon them in the year ahead.

Remember this quote attributed to the late, great Muhammad Ali: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

Ali understood: Service might be the very best exercise of them all.

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