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Ask the Health Coach: Can you train your brain?

  • Category: Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA
Ask the Health Coach: Can you train your brain?

Can you train your brain? The answer is yes, and this pursuit been a new trend in the personal fitness industry.

According to a study published in LiveScience, Brain Gain: Aerobic Exercise Pumps up Gray Matter, researchers found that participants who participated in aerobic exercise four times a week for six months showed a greater increases in brain volume than participants who exercised for that same amount of time by stretching.

Time magazine also says that exercise is good for your brain, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and slowing brain aging for up to 10 years—in The Simple Reason Exercise Enhances Your Brain!

Time referenced a research review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that examined the results of 39 studies in brain health and activity. The researchers found a clear link between aerobic exercise and cognitive function as well as resistance training and the effect on executive function and memory, too.

So how can you exercise your brain? Try these tips to exercise your brain along with the rest of your body!

  1. Try something new: Never been to Zumba? Maybe it’s time to drop the weights for a day and try a new activity like dancing or yoga that requires you to use coordination differently. You can teach old dog new tricks!
  2. Switch it up: Use your opposite hand to do physical activity. You can also do your exercises backwards—walk backwards, start at the bottom instead of the top etc. Stand on one foot. Simply trying a new angle or challenge will help your brain work differently.
  3. Do some math or trivia: Use playing cards to solve math problems between sets. Or use the cards to “add up” how many repetitions you’ll do of your exercise. Look at trivia while using the elliptical or stepmill. Brain games are being used in elementary schools all over—for example, students use their reading sight words while playing in physical education classes.

Check out this fun article about training your brain from U.S. News and World Report: How to Hack Your Workout for Brain Health, by Anna Medaris Miller.

Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist. Campbell County Health Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. At Wellness, you can receive daily community blood draws, lab tests, and health and wellness screenings in Gillette, Wyoming, from 6-11 am Monday-Friday. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.