Exercise Helps to Keep the Brain Strong and Sharp

Brain health declines as we age just as the overall health of the body declines. Creeping memory loss can begin to occur when people are in their 30’s or 40’s. However, when older people have minor lapses in memory these are often referred to as senior moments. This can be such things as being unable to recall people’s names, forgetting where you put things, etc. The decline in mental ability increases as we age. Older adults may have difficulty learning new information and skills. They may find out that they are unable to remember many things. They may also have difficulty in making plans and decisions. The good news is that the human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age the brain can improve as it is able to grow new neurons.

Regular physical exercise provides numerous health benefits for the body. However, it is also a primary method to improve brain health. Physical exercise increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain and can help the brain work faster and more efficiently. Regular exercise may protect brain cells and help delay and even prevent memory problems. Exercise can also reduce the risk for disorders that could lead to memory loss such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise can improve brain function of those with mild cognitive impairment.

right side of brain From Manuel de L'Anatomiste  Morel and Duval  1883

It’s best to Include a variety of exercises for best results. Brisks walking or jogging is something most people can do. You can use a pedometer if you want to keep track of your distance. Other excellent exercises include aerobics, yoga and swimming. These exercises can also help prevent memory loss that often accompany aging. However, it is important to exercise regularly for best results. According to PubMed.gov up to sixty minutes of exercise is beneficial to brain health, but exercise should not be extended so long that dehydration occurs.

Brain exercises help to enable the brain be strong and stay sharp. The majority of age-related losses in brain function are the result of a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. Mental inactivity is not good for brain function. Remember the old adage “use it or lose it” Brain exercises such as regularly solving crosswords puzzles are widely known to benefit brain function. Brain teasers are also excellent. It is important to keep your mind busy by continuing to learn. You could plan to read a new book each week. You could learn new skills and take up a new hobby. You could play bridge, chess, etc. Do things that make you use your brain. These activities are much more beneficial for your brain than spending hours watching television programs.