As is already known, maintaining a weekly exercise routine improves physical health. What is not known to many people is that cognitive health is also worked with this. According to Cleveland Clinic neuropsychologist Aaron Bonner-Jackson, physical and aerobic exercise are beneficial for maintaining brain health, especially in people at risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
“To preserve cognitive health, the best thing to do is to exercise your body and mind with daily exercise and stimulating social activities,” said the expert. Bonner-Jackson mentioned that physical activity can work in a number of ways to benefit the brain, including: reducing inflammation, lowering stress hormones, improving blood flow, and promoting cardiovascular health.
“Exercising can also bring physical benefits to the brain, such as increasing the thickness of the cerebral cortex and improving the integrity of white matter, which is the nerve fiber that connects areas of the brain’s gray matter rich in nerve cells. In the same way, it promotes neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new neural connections”, added the specialist.
How to create mental stimulation
The neuropsychologist indicated that there are many potential exercise mechanisms that can be combined for the benefit of this organ. For example, he explained that being physically active 150 minutes a week, with activities such as walking, jogging, cycling or swimming, is very beneficial.
He also recommended trying new mental stimulation activities, such as reading a book or learning new carpentry and gardening skills. Put together puzzles, solve math problems, or master a new language or musical instrument.
As a final tip, Bonner-Jackson said it is beneficial to regularly schedule meetings with family or friends, as well as join a social organization or volunteer at a church, hospital or charity group.