Staying active could boost your brain power as you age!
Forget losing weight, toning up or going to Zumba because you are going through a Salsa music phase … exercising could actually boost your brain power as you get older!
It is drummed into us just how good exercise is for us, but when you realise it could help you stay sharp, keep your wits about you and even ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s about time we sat up, took notice and reached for the yoga mat!
We associate brain power with intellect, memory and mental ability but the mind and body are inextricably linked as Catharine Jenkins, Senior Nurse Lecturer at Birmingham City University, explains in McCarthy & Stone’s Boost Your Brain Power blog post:
“What benefits the body, will benefit the brain. Many adults don’t exercise as they get older. However, exercise is vital for staying healthy throughout life. It helps you maintain your strength and agility, gives your mental health a boost, and can even help diminish chronic pain.”
Catharine shares her findings and advice in the article which is written for older people who are planning a long, healthy and happy life ahead.
According to Fox News, it is the white matter of our brains that is responsible for communication. The more exercise we do, the less white matter lesions we have in our brains.
We should be striving for healthy white matter in the temporal lobe; a part of the brain that lies behind the ears and is involved in memory and language.
Never too old
Keeping yourself mentally and physically active is crucial for your wellbeing, but what if you have reached 60? Is it too late to start exercising now?
No! Even if you only start being physically active around retirement, you will enjoy significantly better physical and mental health than your inactive friends. Older adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. If you are starting to take up exercise in later life, don’t sign up for the local marathon or turn up for tae kwon do classes on a whim, ease yourself into it.
A brisk walk can burn up to 245 calories and hour, as well as working wonders for your brainpower. It is also known to ward off depression and slow mental decline.
Water aerobics is also a great physical activity for older people as there is less joint impact than exercises like running or dancing. The natural buoyancy of water can eases resistance making it an ideal exercise or people in later life.