A growing body of research has explored the brain-health benefits of moving your body on a regular basis. And while much of it has focused on how regular, moderate to intense exercise can boost your brain power, a new study suggests that even 10 minutes of light exercise can offer immediate benefits. The research focused on the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in the creation and storage of new memories. As we age, the hippocampus begins to shrink, and it deteriorates severely in people who go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Among a group of 36 healthy young adults, doing a mere 10 minutes of mild exercise (such as yoga, tai chi, or walking) led to stronger communication between the hippocampus and another area of the brain linked to memory. So even short bouts of gentle exercise may help you stay clear-headed during everyday tasks. Take breaks from work, studying, or lounging around to get up and walk around the block or up and down a hallway. Take a tai chi or yoga class so you have that in your movement and relaxation toolbox, too. You may feel sharper and more productive.
Source: Rapid stimulation of human dentate gyrus function with acute mild exercise.
“I give a tremendous amount of weight to the mental aspect of physical activity and what it does for me.” Ann Bancroft