Keep your brain (and body) young

When it comes to brain health, challenging yourself with mental games should go hand in hand with exercise and activity for your whole body. Staying mentally and physically engaged is key to maintaining brain health, says Dr. Majid Fotuhi, author of “Boost Your Brain.”

Recent headlines about the link between exercise and brain power (http://news.ubc.ca/2014/02/06/how-exercise-can-boost-brain-power/) are a good reminder to focus on your entire body for healthy aging, he says.

“Healthy activities that you enjoy and look forward to can keep you socially engaged, an important component of a healthy brain,” says Fotuhi. Making exercise fun can also help you stick to it and form long-term healthy habits. Of course, the reasons for a healthy lifestyle go beyond brain health – your whole body will benefit.

Here are some ideas for incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle:

  • Learn a new skill: Always wanted to practice karate or learn ballroom dancing? It’s never too late! Trying something different challenges your brain and body in new ways.
  • Make it a walking date: Instead of connecting with friends over a latte or a glass of wine, go for a hike together. Combining socializing with exercise is brain-health multitasking.
  • Take a class: Rather than pounding the treadmill solo, try a pilates, yoga or aerobics class. You’ll be motivated by a group of people with the same healthy goals as you.

What are some ways that you add exercise to your daily life?

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