What is better for the brain? Jogging, or doing yoga regularly? Researchers have got to work to determine which sport is best for preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease .

Jogging or Yoga: What’s Better for the Brain?

Anyone who is on the go regularly also stays mentally fit. Therefore, exercise is an important factor against dementia and Alzheimer’s prevention.  However, this also depends on the type of movement. After all, not all sports have the same effect on the brain.

So what is the best way to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s? Jogging, biking, dancing, walking, yoga, or tai chi ?

The sport that rejuvenates the brain for up to 10 years

Researchers from Columbia University and the University of Miami compared the brain scans of 876 older people that tested their ability to think and remember, five years later they made the same comparisons. It turned out that the mental decline was greater when the participants chose to do sports with a low level of exertion, for example, walking and yoga.

However, participants who had done regular cardiovascular exercise (running, cycling, etc.) in the past 5 years were more mentally active.

Yes, the brains of the latter, despite their age, appeared to be 10 years younger. Of course, other factors that could affect the condition of the brain were also considered, such as obesity, hypertension, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

Daily resistance training allows new brain cells to grow

Previously, laboratory studies in animals also pointed to the positive effects on the brain of resistance training. For example , it is well known that running or jogging daily at a moderate speed for several kilometers not only strengthens the cardiovascular system, but also promotes the formation of new brain cells, even during old age.

Resistance training for the brain and yoga for balance and flexibility

Sure, it can sound exhausting to have to be physically active several times a week. However, don’t think of your training as an effort or obligation. View it as a challenge, set goals, and enjoy your progress. It is a wonderful feeling to realize that your body suddenly gains physical shape and flexibility, and that the brain gains strength little by little.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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