Top 5 Best Exercises Boost Brain Health. Experts have known about the physical benefits of exercise for years, but research is ongoing on how exercise affects your brain.
Now, a new study reveals the best exercise for brain health—and it can help speed up everything from your memory to your ability to organize.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, tracked data from around 4,500 people in the UK who wore activity monitors on their thighs 24 hours a day over the course of a week.
Top 5 Best Exercises Boost Brain Health
The researchers analyzed how their activity levels affected their short-term memory, problem-solving skills, and ability to process things.
The study found that doing moderate to vigorous exercise & activities — even those that were done for less than 10th minutes — were associated with significantly higher coverage cognitive scores than those who spent most of their time sitting.
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Spent sleeping or doing gentle activities. (Violent exercise typically includes running, swimming, biking, and dancing; moderate exercise includes brisk walking and anything that gets your heart rate up.)
Specifically, the researchers found that people who did these exercises had better memory (the small amount of information that can be held in your mind and used to perform cognitive tasks) and that most Greater impacts were on managerial processes such as planning and organization.
On the other hand: People who did little movement instead of sleeping, sitting, or doing moderate exercise experienced a 1% to 2% decline in cognition.
But the study wasn’t perfect—it used previously collected cohort data, so the researchers didn’t know the broad details of the participant’s health or their long-term cognitive health.
John Mitchell, a doctoral student at University College London’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, says the results “could simply be that people who move more are, on average, more cognitive”.
But, he adds, the findings could also suggest that “even small changes in our daily lives can have downstream consequences for our cognition.” So, why might there be a connection between exercise and a good memory? Here’s what you need to know.
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A scientific analysis of 128,925 people published in 2020 in the journal Preventive Medicine found that adults who were inactive were nearly twice as likely to have cognitive decline compared to their more active counterparts.
But, the “why” behind it all isn’t entirely clear, says Ryan Gillett, C.P.T., senior mental health coach and director of the Fit Brain Program at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, CA.