Brain exercise is just as important as body exercise. It may not help you gain muscle mass, endurance, or physical strength, but it has many benefits that will improve your quality of life in the long run.
And it is that, just as the body ages, so does the brain. This means that it can lose its power if you don’t pay attention to it by giving it the food it needs and keeping it active with certain exercises. and in the best conditions possible for a lot longer.
With age, the brain’s functions can also change, which is why Psychology Today says it’s important to be ready and start working out before problems start to show up. There are some things you can’t avoid, but you can lower the risk, lessen the effects, and keep from losing functions.
Why Does the Brain Need Exercise?
Exercise, both physical and mental, is important. According to Psychology Today, studies have shown that it can help lower the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, keep your memory in good shape, and improve or keep you from losing cognitive functions over time.
Of course, this needs to be combined with things like a healthy diet (there are vitamins that can help) and getting enough sleep every night, but both physical and mental exercises have been shown to be important for the brain.
In fact, in the Blue Zones, which are places in the world with better quality of life and longer life expectancy, one of the things that is looked at is how active people are and what they do to keep their minds busy. For example, gardening is a popular activity in Japan and is thought to help people feel useful while getting their muscles moving in a low-impact way.
How to Exercise for your Brain?
What is needed is a mix of both mental and physical exercises.
Light Cardio: Cardio improves the health of your heart and lungs, helps you keep a healthy weight, and wakes up parts of your brain. Being light is something you can do at any age. Harvard, for example, says that swimming is particularly good because it helps the mind and body work together. Dancing, walking, and gardening are all examples of physical exercise.
Classes: Taking classes (in gyms or outside) is also a good idea. Not only do you get physical exercise, but you also meet new people and build community, which has been shown to help with dementia and cognitive decline.
Learning something new: Learning a new language, a new sport, or how to play an instrument is also a great idea. This is because learning new skills uses parts of the brain that you might not use often, which helps keep your brain fit and your memory sharp.
Brain Games: Card games and puzzles are also good ways to exercise the brain. These are games where you have to match shapes, make pairs of pictures, make a lot of words with letters, or figure out riddles. One way to reduce stress is to focus on other things. Another way is to put different important skills and abilities to the test. Reading is another way to play with your mind.
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