Brain training

5 best exercises to boost brain health

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It’s well established that exercise can benefit your brain as well as your body.

However, not all exercise is equally effective.

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Here are the 5 best exercises to boost brain health.

5. Walking

Walking as little as three hours per week could protect against age-related memory loss.

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Several studies have demonstrated walking can prevent brain shrinkage and encourage neuron growth, which can improve memory.

4. Light stretching & moderate aerobics

Light stretching and moderate aerobics, like jogging or cycling, may help fight depression.

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Researchers from Rutgers University found that eight weeks of aerobics or light stretching reduced depressive symptoms by 55 percent or 31 percent, respectively.

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However, researchers say the effects may not be as pronounced in people with lower levels of reward processing in the brain.

3. Cardiorespiratory exercise

Getting your blood pumping by running, swimming, or any other activity that raises your heart rate could slow cognitive decline.

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Researchers in Germany found that heightened oxygen intake during cardio exercise may increase gray matter and total brain volume.

2. Strength training

Lifting weights for 90 minutes per week can protect brain areas vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease.

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Researchers from the University of Sydney found that six months of strength training can protect against brain degradation.

1. Moderate to high-intensity exercise

More intense exercise, like fast cycling, running, or playing active sports like soccer, can immediately boost brain function.

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Scientists from Sweden found that moderate to high-intensity exercise improved young adults’ memory, concentration, and ability to learn for the following two hours.

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Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center also found lasting effects from a single workout, which they tell Inverse could “reprogram” the brain to burn more energy.

UT Southwestern

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A long-term exercise habit will have the most benefits for your body and your brain, but even occasional or light activity can help.

If you’re out to boost your brain along with your muscles, keep these exercises in mind the next time you hit the gym.

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