Have you ever wondered how you can keep your brain healthy? Psychiatrist and author John Ratey shares amazing information about the power exercise has over the brain. Enjoy the show!

 

Maintaining Your Brain Power

Dementia, depression, and other brain related illnesses are high on the list of concerns for women over the age of 60. We’ve seen our mothers and grandmothers struggle and we want to be proactive now to do everything we can to keep our minds as strong as possible. They key? Exercise.

Preventing Brain Erosion

It is completely possible to do more than simply prevent our brains from eroding as we age, and to actually increase brain growth while improving our cognitive functions. While many women over the age of 60 may think their days of exercising are over, it’s incredibly important to continue regular exercise to promote healthy aging of the brain.

Choosing the Right Exercise

The good news is that there is no one specific exercise that is best for boosting your brain. Running, biking, swimming, dancing, and yoga are all wonderful options that engage the brain and slow its process of aging. What matters is choosing an exercise that you enjoy and will continue to do.

One critical element of these exercises is socialization. Social connections prevent isolation which slows brain growth and is counterproductive to healthy aging.

Why It Works

Exercise makes you feel good. It increases self-confidence and lifts your mood. What you don’t realize is that it is also changing the chemistry of your brain. As a result, our attention is much more focused and our motivation is increased. Dr Ratey argues that exercise can be just as beneficial as medication when treating depression, without any harmful side effects.

Focus on Focusing

While exercise uses more brain cells than any other activity, meditation turns your brain on like nothing else. Meditation and exercise together connects the various networks of the human body that often start to disconnect in adults over the age of 60. So, allowing yourself time to focus and meditate may increase your brain power in a powerful way.

Motivate Yourself and Others

The best way to get motivated to exercise is to know the benefits. Dr Ratey says, “it makes you less depressed, less anxious, less stressed and more loveable—because it increases your oxytocin—and more connected to the universe and to each other.”

What is your favorite form of exercise? Do you get to do it often? Have you found any particular form of exercise to be easier for women over 60? Please share your thoughts!

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