You’re probably somewhat familiar with some of the benefits exercise has on your physical health. But, did you know that “exercise,” according to Wendy Suzuki, “is the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain.”
Exercise for the Senior Brain
For a senior, optimal brain functioning is a primary concern. Two areas responsible for optimal brain function, are the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. The prefrontal cortex deals with several important brain functions, including complex behavior, emotional reactions, attention, complex planning and personality. And the hippocampus is “responsible for processing of long term memory and emotional responses.”
You definitely want to protect these areas, especially as you age. Fortunately, you can.
Suzuki suggests viewing exercise “as a supercharged 401K for your brain.” She argues that the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which “are most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases and normal cognitive decline in aging,” are also responsive to exercise. “The more you’re working out, the bigger and stronger your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex gets.”
What to do?
Suzuki’s recipe for brain exercise is pretty simple: 3 to 4 times a week, with aerobic work – to “get your heart rate up,” for at least 30 minutes.
“With increased exercise over your lifetime, you’re not going to cure dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but … you’re going to create the strongest, biggest hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, so it takes longer for these diseases to actually have an effect,” says Suzuki.
What can you start doing today to help your brain?
Please share in the comments below.