"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Which is best for keeping your brain fit: physical or mental activity?

Both physical and mental activity are necessary to guard your considering abilities and forestall dementia. But does one trump the opposite? It's an interesting query, one that happens to me once I'm doing crossword puzzles or walking around my neighborhood with funny walks that my kids make fun of. Can I preserve my considering skills if I do more activities, corresponding to more crossword puzzles or more walks?

This could also be changing. A study published yesterday JAMA Internal Medicine Tried to tease that physical or mental activity is nice for mental health. Researchers recruited 126 older adults who felt their memory or considering skills had recently deteriorated, and divided them into 4 groups. All were asked to do one hour of mental activity thrice per week and one hour of physical activity thrice per week. What was the difference in intensity of those activities:

  • Intensive computer work and aerobics
  • Deep computer work plus light stretching and toning
  • Watch aerobics along with educational DVDs
  • Light stretching and toning along with watching educational DVDs

After 12 weeks, scores on considering tests improved across the board. The big surprise was that there was no real difference in improvement between the groups. The researchers concluded that the quantity More necessary than activity to stimulate the mind. Kind of Because of the activity, because all participants exercised and engaged in mental activities every week.

Benefit from each

There is a few evidence that exercise alone protects the brain. A study was published on people of their seventies Neurology It showed that those that exercised essentially the most had less brain shrinkage and white matter brain lesions, which could be signs of dementia. Those who engaged in mental activity had more brain shrinkage and white matter brain lesions. Another recently published study A stroke It appears that older adults who exercise frequently reduce their risk of vascular dementia by 40 percent.

It is probably going that regular exercise can increase the amount of brain regions necessary for memory and considering. “There are many possible mechanisms for this, such as stimulating the production of growth factors, blood vessels, and new brain cells, which may provide a buffer against the brain changes that accompany dementia,” says Dr. McGuinness. causes.”

“Practice of a specific cognitive function will improve that function. If one engages in working tasks that require memory, such as holding and manipulating material in the mind for short periods of time. , so he'll usually be stronger in that area,” says Dr. McGuinness.

what are you able to do

Take advantage of the mental protection that each physical and mental activity provides. On the physical side, start or keep going. goal is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, but any activity is best than none. Mentally, Dr. McGuinness suggests doing something you already enjoy. “This could be crossword puzzles, reading, participating in a club, modeling, or any variety of activities. The guideline is that the activities require energetic engagement, not passive engagement corresponding to watching television.

me I'll keep on with my funny-looking walks and crosswords, although I've recently turn into obsessive about the Scrabble game on my smartphone. Next query: Can I walk and play Scrabble at the identical time? While it might be higher for my brain, I don't need a clinical study to reply that. It's not spelled!