A lot of lifestyle factors make your memory worse–such as vegging out on the couch, for instance. Now research shows that our love for sedentary activities is slowly killing us. Cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are expected to skyrocket within the next 20 years, unbeknownst to many older Americans.
So what works in the long run?
Well aside from praying good genetics is on your side, here’s one simple–but very effective–strategy that can boost brain health.
Reported at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s symposia in San Francisco this year, researchers say that frequent but light physical activity had the strongest cognitive benefits, such as a casual stroll or bike ride. So no, you don’t need to try heavy workouts for a stronger brain–simply staying more active is more important here.
To take advantage, try doing these activities:
– Try walking instead of using your car. Walking is a simple, low-impact workout that nearly everyone can do, and its effects on cognition have been widely studied. Do it as often as possible to reap the benefits.
– Get involved in outdoor activities and limit TV time. Watching TV is America’s favorite sedentary activity, and it’s killing us. For enhanced cognition, try replacing this time with more strenuous activities outdoors, such as bicycling, swimming, or hiking somewhere new.
– Pick up a sport. Getting involved in sports is a great way to increase your physical activity. Bowling, skating, and playing basketball are all fun sports that people of all ages can participate in.
If all of these recommendations seem too daunting, however, keep this in mind: The more you move, the better. Regardless of how you stay active, it’s important to do it often.