There’s been a lot written about the value of “brain games” to help reduce the risks of dementia and other loss of cognitive sharpness. In today’s technology-centric world, we have spent almost $2 billion on various brain training apps in 2018. This is four times the amount spent 2012, so they are really gaining popularity.
But are they working?
The most recent research shows mixed results. Sarah Lenz Lock is executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health. A respected expert in her field, Lock cautions, “Cognitive training has shown some promise, but people shouldn’t expect it to be a magic bullet.”
In fact, studies are now recommending a diversified approach combining brain training, healthy diet and exercise.
Reducing Risks of Dementia – A Walk In the Park
According to the New York Times, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new data on reducing risks of dementia. They found that these brain training apps do not show significant, consistent or long term improvement over time. Their recommendation is to focus on moving your body for 150 minutes each week. That’s about 30 minutes a day, taking off for weekends. This is completely manageable, isn’t it?
They emphasize that this activity must begin before signs of cognitive decline appear. Remember: this is about prevention, not cure.
The mind-body connection isn’t new and the evidence continues to build. Research finds that physical activity promotes growth and maintenance of neurons in seniors. And the benefits are much higher for those who enjoy cardio-based exercise instead of simple stretching.
So step to it! And enjoy the benefits of your activity for years to come.
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