When the brain turns to mush

PUBLISHED: 12:06 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:11 06 May 2010

TaiChi is good exercise

TaiChi is good exercise

APART from the odd spot of minor bullying, I had a relatively enjoyable time at school and found myself missing the old place when I went off to university. A couple (well, ok, a few) years have passed since then and I ve eventually come to terms with the

APART from the odd spot of minor bullying, I had a relatively enjoyable time at school and found myself missing the old place when I went off to university.

A couple (well, ok, a few) years have passed since then and I've eventually come to terms with the fact that I'm no longer a pupil at an upper school in Bedfordshire. I generally don't miss it any more but this week I've found myself hankering for days gone by.

There are a lot of things I don't miss - a life controlled by bells, packed lunches and maths lessons all come to mind - but for the last few days, I've found myself longing for both the chance to really use my brain, and perhaps more bizarrely, compulsory PE.

The reason for the desire to use my brain is that along with I guess the vast majority of the population, I sometimes feel that my grey matter is vaguely turning to mush. It's all too easy as an adult to get bogged down in the mechanics of everyday life - shopping, laundry, gardening etc - and find that a couple of weeks have passed and the most challenging thing you've thought about is tackling the ironing.

Before my editor starts deciding he needs to make me work harder, I'd best say that my job is certainly demanding, but it's in a very different way to a good spot of book learning, and also, my brain seems to switch itself off once I leave work.

(There are those who would argue that its presence isn't felt all that strongly during work hours either, but there we go.)

After you've finished in education, it becomes up to individuals to continue with mental development, something which is not always easy.

But it is possible - there's evening classes, books and newspapers out there to educate us - and I think that's why I feel bad about it.

Similarly, as much as we might have loathed hockey lessons on cold, muddy pitches, at least when we were in school we did have to exercise a couple of times a week. What with jobs, homes and social lives, it gets difficult to squeeze a bit of sport in when you're all grown up.

Having recently completed the fitness challenge I was doing through the paper and our website, I'm finding all my old excuses about not having time to exercise coming back in.

How much fitter we'd all be if at 10.30am on Tuesdays and 2pm on Thursdays we had PE.

But, possibly with good reason, life is generally not that regulated. Maybe with the coming of spring and the bonus of (hopefully) a bit more energy, we should get out and about and exercise both our brains and our bodies.

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