A study in the Biological Psychiatry Journal reported that both physical exercise and the challenge from mental exercise increases the secretion of nerve growth factors which helps neurons grow and stay healthy. So whatever your age, physical activity is going to help you remain sharp.
While my life is full of mental stimulation, it greatly lacks physical exercise. So in the interests of brain health I hit the pool for the first time in over 20 years. After about 20 minutes of swimming my arms and legs felt pleasantly tired and I felt very relaxed. You don’t really turn your brain off when you exercise but focusing on physical repetition pushes worries and stress aside and gives you a chance to psychologically rest.
I left the pool physically refreshed and rejuvenated, vowing to return tomorrow. Whether swimming is your thing or walking, dancing or yoga, adding a routine of physical exercise does add zest to life and protects your brain.