Does ex­er­cise re­ally keep your brain healthy too?

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - YOUR BODY -

There’s a strong re­la­tion­ship be­tween fit­ness and cog­ni­tion, what­ever your age. Work­ing out can give your brain a lift im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards, and it also ap­pears to have a pro­tec­tive ef­fect on the abil­ity to think clearly as you get older by keep­ing blood flow­ing to your head and pump­ing up the area that han­dles ver­bal mem­ory and learn­ing. One study found that young adults who were more aer­o­bi­cally fit were cog­ni­tively sharper when they reached midlife. An­other found that se­niors who got reg­u­lar moder­ate to in­tense ex­er­cise held on to more of their men­tal skills over the next five years than peo­ple who did light ex­er­cise, or stay-still types. Walk­ing, jog­ging, cy­cling us­ing the el­lip­ti­cal trainer, swim­ming, tak­ing a step-aer­o­bics class, skip­ping, kick­box­ing and row­ing are all good car­dio op­tions – and don’t for­get to stretch when you’re done.

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