These Are the Most Effective Exercises To Keep Your Brain Young, MD Says
Staying physically active and exercising regularly is essential for maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle. Taking care of your brain health is especially important as you get older, and we're here with the most effective brain exercises to keep your cognitive abilities young. We spoke with Dr. Mike Bohl, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a member of the Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Boar, who explains everything you need to know about how to keep your brain young and in the best shape possible.
Read on to learn more about Dr. Bohl's most highly-recommended brain exercises, and next up, don't miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Keeping your mind busy is key, and exercises like reading, playing card games, and even learning a new language really help
According to Dr. Bohl, "This is still an area that needs more research, but essentially anything you do that keeps your mind busy and challenges your memory, problem-solving, and reaction time may help combat memory loss and stave off dementia."
There's not one specific exercise for your brain that's important to perform—you should really choose mindful activities you enjoy. The many possibilities include reading, playing card or board games, meditating, doing puzzles, and socializing. Learning something different is also a healthy challenge, such as exploring a new language, playing an instrument, or researching a topic that interests you.
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Having a larger "cognitive reserve" from doing brain exercises in your earlier years could help delay cognitive decline
You can really start exercising your brain at any age, although some research has mainly observed the impact of brain exercises in adults 65 years of age and older. Dr. Bohl advises, "There's a concept that some people may have a larger 'cognitive reserve' than others based on their experiences, education, and activities throughout life, and that having a larger 'cognitive reserve'—which may come from doing more brain exercises earlier in life—may help slow the onset of cognitive decline (although much research is still needed in this area)."
Related: 5 Simple Hobbies To Help You Lead an Incredibly Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a healthy diet and getting in physical activity help support your brain health, too
There are some pretty helpful tips you can incorporate into your daily routine that Dr. Bohl shares with us to help sharpen your brain as you get older. "Eating a healthy diet, exercising, properly managing chronic conditions like high blood pressure, and avoiding or limiting substance use (such as stopping smoking or only drinking alcohol in moderation) are all ways to support a healthy brain."
There isn't a limit to how much brain exercising you can do
The good news is, the sky is the limit when it comes to just how much exercise is a good amount of exercise to feed your brain! Dr. Bohl recommends, "Just remember to eat, sleep, and live life as well, and don't spend all day indoors doing puzzles."