Dance, read and play more …

Were you aware that after the age of 60 the brain starts shrinking fairly dramatically, losing between half-a-percent to one percent of its volume every year?
While some of my friends may say that I’ve been suffering that kind of wastage since my teens, I found it fascinating to read recently that you can slow the brain-drain by increasing your mental and physical exercise.

According to John Ratey, author of a book published in January called ‘Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain’, “exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain”.

And as a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, John if anyone should know.

John Ratey believes that by getting and keeping your body in shape, you mind will follow along. He bases his belief on the fact that because we evolved as physical hunter-gatherers our bodies and minds need regular exercise in our sedentary world to avoid growing flabby.

The American psychiatrist claims all form of exercise, especially aerobic but even walking, improves cognitive performance, reduces feelings of stress and can even diminish addictions and the consequences of hormonal changes of women.

Apparently, our brains need to be challenged to learn. By optimising the brain through giving it constant and challenging mental and physical exercise, we can gain the key to a longer, healthier life.

So, get with the action folks. Keep your mind agile by keeping your body in shape. Everything helps apparently – dancing, reading, playing board games, having sex or playing a musical instrument.

Rock on, Wanobians. Live long, live well, play a lot.



About Wanobe, the business knowledge network
Writer, journalist and broadcaster, sixty-something David likes nothing better than being with family and friends, eating out and drinking great wines, and scuba diving.

One Response to Dance, read and play more …

  1. Brian says:

    OK Dave – that’s certainly some assurance. But how many brain cells do we start out with anyway and how many have we got when we reached 50/60? And since some say we only use 10% of our brain anyway (I’m the living proof of that)We’ve got a heck of a lot of built-in redundancy eh?

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