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BRAIN HEALTH: How to Help Your Mind Stay Active

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

Does a fit body give you a fit mind? According to an article written by Christopher Hertzog. Arthur F. Kramer. Robert S. Wilson and Ulman Lindenberger for Scientific American Magazine in 2015 your brain stays in better shape if you do exercise. The exercise they are talking about is beyond learning something new or doing #crosswords, they are talking about physical exercise. Stimulating challenges can help our mind and give it mental training, but staying socially engaged and having a positive attitude are also important for your brain health.

Simple things that can help are everyday reading, walking, and climbing stairs. The more active participants in a study were the lower their cognitive decline was. Moderate movement is good, but, toning the circulatory system with aerobic exercise may be the key to brain fitness. Studies showed that strenuous activity helps participants in tests of language, verbal memory, nonverbal memory, conceptualization, and visuospatial ability.

A few studies have looked at what happens over longer timescales and compared its risk for dementia when leisure-time physical activities lasted 20 to 30 minutes and also caused breathlessness and #sweating. The results found that beginning such activities on midlife at least twice a week was associated with a reduced risk of dementia in later life. The participants in the more active group had 52 percent lower odds of having dementia than those in a more sedentary group.

Studies have shown that there is an association between walking and retention of brain volume. This is a good predictor of dementia, which shows that the greater the volume of the brain the lower the risk of dementia. This study proposes that it is not just aerobic forms of activity such as walking, jogging, swimming, and bicycling but also resistance exercise.

Positive attitudes may have important effects on cognitive enrichment because of their influence on more healthy behaviors. This is another reason why social engagement is essential. People that stay engaged in activities with others tend to stay healthier in mind and body.

So do the things you can now that don't cost you anything and are good for the mind and the body, such as vigorous walking, taking the stairs when you can, and staying socially engaged.

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