Exercise is good for your brain as well as your body

The experts at the Franklin Institute suggest that the best way to keep your brain healthy is by interacting with your environment in new and interesting ways and physical exercise. The brain has an amazing ability to adapt and rewire itself growing neurons even in older people. The latest research shows the memory losses assumed to be age related are actually due to lack of activity and not age. The mind and body are intrinsically linked, brain neurons connect both with other neurons and with skeletal muscles. If muscles remain inactive the nerve signals to the muscles decrease which causes a decrease in brain receptors.
Walking is a great brain exercise. People that walk 20 min/day have increased learning ability, concentration, abstract reasoning and a 57% lower chance of  having a stroke. The University of California studied walking and brain function with 6000 women over eight years. They concluded that each mile walked per week resulted in a 13% less chance of cognitive decline.

Here are a few tips to make your exercise program more “brainy”:

1. Try a new kind of exercise that involves complex patterns and movement such as Tai Chi, line dancing or a low impact exercise class
2. Take a new walking route and add on small amounts of mileage each time you walk
3. Get off the treadmill and walk outside to interact with your environment and keep your brain working
4. Try water exercise
5. Change your strength training routines once a month
6. Have a day where you do all of your activities with your non dominant hand (brushing your teeth, holding the computer mouse)

Good Luck


Erin Billowits
Vintage Fitness


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