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Exercise and Brain Fitness is not a new phenomenon

March 23, 2009

Over the last few months I have seen day after day links to blogs and articles about an amazing discovery; exercising the brain increases cognitive functions. Are we supposed to be surprised at this?  

Back in grade school I was taught that the brain not a muscle,  but was always told that like one, you should use it or lose it.

As a student of Tai Chi and developer of a movement program for seniors this revelation is not news. For thousands of years, older Chinese adults have been practicing forms, doing daily routines of 30, 40, 100 and higher numbers of movements strung together in patterns and sequences. There are many studies that show the health benefits of Tai Chi practice.

Does this sound like a brain function exercise to you? Working the brain in this type of patterned exercise causes the brain to create neural pathways stimulating brain health.  Search the web for Tai Chi and neural pathways and see all the articles referenced.

Search for exercise and brain fitness in general and you will find that keeping the mind active, whether reading,  learning languages, using opposite hands for simple everyday chores all work to maintain a healthy mind.

So if Tai Chi is good for the brain, just imagine how well it works for the rest of the body. Keeping yourself flexible, with increased balance and movement capabilities. Having a healthier heart, increased lung capacity and yes a healthier brain, all from a single source of exercise just makes sense.

Is there an activity or hobby you partake in that keeps your mind sharp?

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2 Comments
  1. Excellent point, Stan.

    I think that the ancients used to understand a great deal about brain fitness and whole body fitness. Somewhere along the way this got buried in the scientific revolution. Good to see that it’s emerging again.

    Martin
    http://www.mindsparke.com
    Effective, Affordable Brain Fitness Software

    Like

  2. I think tai chi’s ability to train the brain is way more important than muscle strength, flexibility or endurance training to function and comfort-especially fall prevention.

    Like

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