Q: What’s the link between exercise and brain health?
A: Sue Paul: Any physical activity is great because it pumps oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought. Experts agree that aerobic exercise has the greatest brain rewards, but when your brain and body work together to accomplish a task, the benefits multiply. Our new Rosborough Wellness & Brain Health Center features classes that do this, and equipment such as a rock-climbing wall, boxing studio and SMARTfit exergaming are designed to make the brain and body work together.
Q: What are other keys for brain health?
A: Sue Paul: We all love Wordle but building brain health involves a lot more. By the time we reach retirement age our brains have mastered many tasks. Now’s the time to add novel experiences and introduce randomness and surprise. Take a new route on errands or going home. Open yourself to a new hobby and experiences. Make new friends. Strong social ties make you happy, lower your risk of dementia and increase life expectancy.
Q: What is your advice for brain-health beginners?
A: Donna Marino: It’s never too late to start! I call myself a ‘neuronaut’ because I was one of the first residents to enroll in Asbury’s brain health program. Start slowly by building a base of activities you enjoy and keep building. The more you do, the better you’ll feel. With a family history of dementia and heart disease, I want to do all I can. My routine is anything but routine, with yoga, ballroom dancing, weight-lifting and ping-pong. And I was one of the first residents to try Asbury’s new rock-climbing wall. It was exhilarating!