Saturday, December 12, 2009

Does giving your brain a "mental workout" really help ward off dementia?

Well, it is certainly possible, even likely, but not conclusive.  I will refer you to a couple of blogs that have done a much better job of explaining this than I plan to do here...

If you were always the kind of person to read the Cliff's notes, or rent the movie instead of reading the book, the bottom line is that exercise, the real/physical kind, not the mental kind you can do sitting in front of a computer, appears to be the most effective way to improve your overall cognitive function and ward off dementia as you age.  Playing Sudoku or doing crosswords (or other brain games) may have some beneficial effects, particularly if you don't do anything at all to stimulate your brain, but it is more likely that these types of activities will primarily only help you to get better at similar types of puzzles and problems.  So, if you want to do what's best for your brain, you should try to get at least twenty minutes of exercise, several times a week...
you heard me, stop reading this blog and go outside (or, if you live in a frozen part of the country like I do, hit the gym).

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