Pump-Up the Brain with New Sports

Guest Blogger: Crystal Bondurant-Salisbury, L.P.T.A.

Do you ever feel like the “old dog” that can’t learn new tricks? Well, research says you can!

An article in the New York Times goes on to even suggest that not only can you learn new tricks, you can grow new brain cells. The human brain is an amazing thing that we once thought only grew from birth to adolescence, but actually continues to make changes until our deaths; if we exercise it correctly. The article, New Sports May Stretch The Brain, by Gretchen Reynolds touches on the latest updates you can make to your brain.

We have all heard that we should “exercise” the brain, keeping our thinker going so we can try to prevent the later-in-life issues such as dementia. There are an abundance of articles that have pushed us towards crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and word searches. But, but did you know exercise has a similar effect? New studies explain various ways to “update” your brain with exercise.  Activities, like running, were shown to increase the number of brain cells being made in the parts of the brain that are important for memory and thinking, but the most compelling evidence of change came with forming new motor skills.

If you have seen your friends playing pickle ball at the local YMCA, or your buddy just picked-up tennis, not only are they improving their muscle mass, they are more than likely growing their brains. So remember, there will be visible increases in the grey matter in your brain when you too pick your new sport! The research supports more benefit for new sports or activities versus the well practiced activities you have already mastered.

So, not only can the old dog learn new tricks, but you will grow new brain matter when you do. I hope you get out there and find your new sport and strengthen your brain. I might even see a new face on the pickle ball courts or in the Pilates class!

I thoroughly enjoyed the article. And, in my opinion, it was a quick read that was well-written, and very informative! ~Enjoy

Source: Learning a New Sport May Be Good for the Brain