5 exercises to train your brain

5 exercises to train your brain

Like the body, the brain has to train to keep fit. Here you can read 5 simple and effective exercises to train your brain.

Why does the brain have to be trained?

We understand why you need to exercise to stay healthy and feel good as you get older. Like the body, the brain can lose its liveliness over time. And in some cases, the deterioration of the brain can become a disorder called "dementia", the most known form of which is Alzheimer's disease. As nerve cells in the brain die, people with dementia slowly lose the ability to think and remember and can no longer take care of themselves. Recent studies indicate that 5-8% of Canadians over 65 have Alzheimer's and these percentages could rise to 30-50% after 85 years.

However, loss of cognitive function should not be a standard of aging. One of the keys to healthy aging is keeping the brain active and fit. Although some studies show that having a parent or family member with this condition increases the chances of developing a form of dementia, this is not the only factor. Here are the 5 exercises to train your brain.

1. Do not be afraid to sweat

If you need one more reason to push to a gym, this is: maintaining fitness is the most effective way to keep your brain alert in the long run. " What's good for the heart is good for the brain," says Dr. Ken Rockwood, Professor of Geriatrics and Kathryn Allen Weldon Chair in Alzheimer's Disease at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The latter says that physical exercise is better than any other strategy to keep the gray matter at its best.

Dr. Jack Diamond, Scientific Director of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, agrees. "The benefit of regular exercise is that it helps lower your chances of developing Alzheimer's or slowing your progression if you already have it." Dr. Rockwood recommends doing aerobic exercise at least five times per week, 30 minutes each time. "You should breathe and pant," he adds, "to raise your heart rate".

2. Add some bodybuilding to your workout

Again, what is good for the heart is good for the brain. A bodybuilding exercise added to your routine will allow your thinking skills to surpass themselves. Regardless of your level of fitness, Dr. Rockwood adds, adding a little resistance training to your sessions twice a week can make a long-term difference to brain health. He advises alternating arms and legs: for example, flexing the biceps with weights and a raised leg with ankle weights to work more. This last exercise can be performed while seated.

3. Increase your knowledge

The results of the research show that the more time you spend in school, the more you can keep dementia out of the way. Dr. Rockwood explains that "formal studies may well lay the foundation for a lifelong brain, or it may be that educated people naturally seek novelty or intellectual stimuli." Ultimately, learning is the primary function of the brain and the more you learn, the more it benefits. "The neurochemical components that contribute to the preservation of new memories also help protect old ones," says Dr. Rockwood.

4. Opt for the novelty

Even if you've never wanted to play the violin or learn Spanish, well, it's time to get started. Learning something new, such as a musical instrument or language, especially after 25 years, is a good way to keep alert gray matter; the more you experience difficulty, the better the game is worth. "It means that the brain finds the effort painful," says Dr. Rockwood. Take salsa dance, for example, you may have to repeat the same steps hundreds of times and then, at some point, you will stop counting and you will start dancing. You realize that the brain has just incorporated learning. But before this step, your brain is working to establish all kinds of new and important connections. When you master the new skill, it's time to move on to another novelty.

5. Play games that engage the brain

Crossword puzzles, sudoku games or puzzles are a great way to train your brain and a safe way to keep it alert. "These games are thought to help you create connections in your brain," says Dr. Rockwood, "and that can increase levels of growth factors. In the end, games are a good way to train your brain because you have to think, not stay passive".
5 exercises to train your brain 5 exercises to train your brain Reviewed by Amit on June 23, 2019 Rating: 5
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