People nowadays do not have enough time to hit the gym. But does this mean that you cannot do enough physical activity to keep your brain healthier? According to an expert in the United Kingdom, moderate physical activity can be sufficient to keep your brain healthy. Things like using steps instead of lifts and taking a stroll in the park regularly can be sufficient. There are certain other things that one needs to keep in mind. For example, it is very important to have a healthy diet. Experts recommend diets that are low on meat and high in plants, pulses, nuts and fish – for example, diets like Mediterranean regimen.
According to Professor James Goodwin – Director of science and research impact at the Brain Health Network, in the UK – an active lifestyle can be a key to a healthier heart.
“An active lifestyle (weaving regular movement and exertion into the structure of your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift) as well as ‘purposeful exercise’ (eg brisk walking to increase heart rate) is key,” Goodwin was quoted as saying to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Exercise itself – like being in the gym – is not an antidote to living a couch-potato lifestyle. We know that if you sit for over 10 hours a day, you can go to the gym all you like – those benefits are undermined by that inactivity. You’ve got to do both,” he added.
Researchers at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) carried out a study for nine years to find out the link between fitness and Alzheimer’s risk. They found in their study that those with the highest levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were 33 per cent less likely to develop the disease than those who were least fit. However, the study also noted that 10-kilometer sprints and spin classes are not essential.
The researchers said that the highest level of fitness can be achieved by brisk walking. “For middle-aged and older, brisk walking for two and a half hours or more per week is sufficient,” the researchers said. It is also important to mention that moderate exercise can also slow your aging and turn back the years.
“If you do enough moderate to intense exercise, you can reverse the aging of the brain,” Goodwin said. Stressing on the relationship between adequate brain function and exercise, Goodwin said “if we are inactive, we have an inactive brain.”