Give your brain a workout
On their own, physical activity and cognitive (mental) exercise can each act to keep our bodies and our brains fit. But did you know that challenging your body and your brain together can maximize the brain health benefit?
How it works
What you can do
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines encourage us to:
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week, for at least 10 minutes at a time.
- Supplement this exercise with muscle and bone strengthening activities at least two days per week.
To get the combined benefits of physical activity and a cognitive exercise, look for ways to challenge both your body and your brain. Some examples include:
- Learning a new movement-intensive activity, such as yoga
- Participating in a fast-paced and strategy-heavy sport, such as squash or tennis
- Joining an exercise program that requires you to follow instructions, such as an aerobics class
- Finding ways to interact with a partner during activity, such as a ballroom dancing class
- Walking and talking. Having a conversation during exercise is a great way to engage the executive function of the brain, which is necessary for goal-directed behaviour.