Hello, fellow brain-boosters! Are you ready to give your brain a much-needed workout?
Our brain is still mysterious in some ways, but we can all agree on one thing: it’s very, very important. This organ is the most complex one in your body, and it’s the conductor of your body’s symphony. Having it in top form is vital at all ages, and it becomes very important as you grow older. So if you’re ready to get the most out of your mind and keep yourself protected from age-related conditions that can affect it, keep reading!
A lot of research has found that mental and physical exercise can help your brain as you age. According to Scientific American, everything from aerobics to yoga has a positive effect on the brain (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-exercise-affects-your-brain/). A more recent study out of the University of Canberra in Australia demonstrated brain improvement in people over 50 who did a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise, and this was true regardless of the state of the participant’s brain when the study started (https://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/media/newsroom/2017/april/uc-research-exercise-delivers-brain-boost-for-over-50s).
In the study, UC researchers took a look at 39 studies to gauge the impact of various types of exercise in varying degrees of duration and intensity on the brain health of people aged 50 and older. In addition to strength exercises in the form of resistance training and aerobics, the researchers examined studies that combined both exercise types and also those that evaluate activities such as tai chi and yoga.
They found that aerobics enhanced a person’s cognitive abilities, while resistance training boosted executive function, which is the brain process people use to set and reach goals. Resistance training also improved memory overall and working memory (or short-term memory). It was also found that tai chi appears to boost cognitive abilities, but so few studies have been done in this area that a larger trial would be needed to confirm the theory.
If you’re ready to boost your brain health, each session of your chosen exercise routine should last at least 45 minutes, be done as many days as possible, and include moderate to vigorous exertion on your part. UC study leader Joe Northey said that just exercising once or twice a week will help your brain, but exercising more often is better.
The brain you have today is the only one you’ll ever get, so devote some time to giving it a little love, and you’ll be much better off for it.