Why is exercise so important to brain health?
There is a growing consensus in brain health communities, that exercise is the most important activity you can do to improve your cognitive health and prevent dementia. A 2017 report by the National Academy of Science determined that fitness maybe the best tool we have against cognitive impairment and dementia. The reason for this is we now have studies that support the connection between heart health and brain health. A recent study in March of 2018 showed a high degree of fitness can actually prevent dementia for up to 11 years in women. If you add to that further fitness through learning a new language, you can add another 4 years without dementia. This is good news for those of us who are committed to preventing dementia and improving our cognitive health.
According to the American Council on Exercise https://www.acefitness.org/ the future of exercise will focus more on brain health. They predict a surge in interest in fitness trackers/coaches that will be able to monitor cognitive performance as well as traditional physiological markers such as heart rate.
What exercises are the most important for brain health?
A combination of aerobic, flexibility and muscle strengthening all work together to maximize your brain health. The current recommendation for exercise is 150 minutes/week or 30 minutes 5 days per week. During this time, for optimizing your brain health you need to be in an aerobic zone.
AEROBIC ZONE RANGE: 220 - age = __ X .65 for lower zone X .85 for higher zone
For a 65 year old person, your aerobic zone would be 100-132 beats/minute.
220 - 65 = 155 X .65 = 100 ; 155 X .85 = 132
Links and Resources Related to Exercise
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180410132900.htm - This study shows that physical and mental exercise in mice have a beneficial intergeneration effect on their offspring with resultant better learning abilities.