Brain health is an area of growing interest especially with Baby Boomers in the U.S. population aging and starting to fear the deterioration of their cognitive abilities. Fortunately, along with that growing concern have been scientific breakthroughs in how to improve cognitive health and well being. One method that has been pinpointed may surprise you, though. Why?
It doesn’t have to cost a thing.
And what is this free way to improve our brain health? it’s exercise.
That’s right. If the physical health and longevity benefits aren’t enough to make you want to go for a walk or work out, then the thought that it can make your brain “younger” might. Dr. Mercola writes,
“According to a recent study published in the journal Neurology, physical activity can slow brain aging by as much as 10 years.
“Of the nearly 900 seniors who participated in the study, 90 percent engaged in light exercise such as yoga or walking, or none at all. The remaining 10 percent did medium-to-high intensity exercise. As reported by CBS News:
‘[O]lder adults who reported either light or no exercise at all experienced a cognitive decline equal to 10 more years of aging when compared to people who were moderate to intense exercisers.
‘The number of people over the age of 65 in the United States is on the rise, meaning the public health burden of thinking and memory problems will likely grow,’ study author Dr. Clinton B. Wright … said in a statement.
‘Our study showed that for older people, getting regular exercise may be protective, helping them keep their cognitive abilities longer.'”
Interestingly, the type of exercise can make a difference in brain functioning. Again, Dr. Mercola writes,
“Strength training — and working your leg muscles in particular — has been shown to have a particularly strong impact on brain function and memory. In one study, just 20 minutes of leg strength exercises enhanced long-term memory by about 10 percent.”
How does exercise assist in brain functioning? By causing the release of hormones that improve neuroplasticity. That doesn’t even address the fact that exercise improves your mood.
So, to improve your brain health, your mood, and your physical health, start exercising, and turn it into a lifelong habit.