Brain Health Lifestyle: Physical Activity

Our last blog on brain health discussed the importance of mental stimulation (e.g. brain fitness, brain games) as one factor in my five factor brain health lifestyle. Clearly FitBrains provides a fun and healthy brain fitness regiment that is considered mentally stimulating.

Similar to mental stimulation (e.g. brain games), your brain appreciates it when you are physically active. The reason is simple: every time your heart beats 25% of the blood output from that one heartbeat goes directly to your brain! I refer to this as “market share.” If your brain goes even several minutes without sufficient blood and the oxygen carried by the blood will suffer potential damage with functional and cognitive loss.

Research highlights specific physical activities that reduce the risk of dementia (promote brain health). These include:

  • Walking on a daily basis
  • Aerobic exercise three times a week
  • Dance
  • Knitting
  • Gardening
  • Jogging
  • Treadmill, Stepmaster, Stationary bike exercises
  • Write with the non-dominant hand daily

Interestingly these activities employ both sides of the body, thereby stimulating both sides of the brain. An ambidextrous brain is probably a more adaptive brain than one that is highly specialized in one hemisphere.

Remember, the more active you are the more your brain will be nourished with the blood-glucose and oxygen it demands. You will have a happy brain!

Share your thoughts...