Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Physical and Mental Exercise

There have been a number of good posts recently on the links between physical exercise and brain exercise. The Brain Code blog posted a great summary of the key points:

  • Exercise improves learning through increased blood supply and growth hormones
  • Exercise is an anti-depressant by reducing stress and promoting neurogenesis
  • Exercise protects the brain from damage and disease, as well speeding the recovery
  • Exercise benefits you the most when you start young


A recent article from the Society for Neuroscience quotes:

“Everybody knows that exercise is good for your heart, but in recent years we’ve gathered compelling evidence that exercise is also good for your brain,” says Fred Gage, PhD, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. “We now know that exercise helps generate new brain cells, even in the aging brain.”

According to the research of Richard Smeyne, PhD, and his colleagues at Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis:

Our findings suggest that at least two months of exercise are needed to protect the cells and that higher levels of exercise were significantly more beneficial than lower amounts, although all exercise was better than none. These findings also suggest that starting an exercise program early in life may be an easy, non-pharmacological way to lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life.

Game Plan
One way to get to get on board to dedicating time and effort to both types of exercise is the 10,000 Words & 10,000 Steps program. Try it and see if you can keep up!

Don’t forget the Four Pillars of Brain Health:
1) Physical Exercise
2) Brain Exercise
3) Good Nutrition
4) Stress Reduction

Further Links

 

 

 

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4 Responses

  1. Neal Cohen says:

    I find that using a pedometer daily provides excellent feedback on how I am managing my physical and mental health on a day-to-day basis. Neal

  2. Caroline says:

    Great idea! Now we just need a lexometer to go with the pedometer, and we’ll be set! Anyone know where to get one?!

  3. Giulia says:

    I definitely agree with your article. Actually, I do think the key to longevity and wellness is mental fitness.

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