If you’ve been reading my blog all along or if this is your first time, welcome! My theme of ADOPTION has led me to write on related topics. These adoption-inspired ideas emerge, flow, and branch out. Today’s inspiration is from a new nonfiction favorite, Dr. Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. In case after case, Doidge proves that not only can we recover from all manner of brain injuries and situations, we also have the ability to keep our mental functions sharp.
Because of modern medicine’s advances, we are living longer. While this is a good thing, it comes with the possibility of developing mental fragility. No wonder that so many people are interested in slowing cognitive decline. It’s commonly accepted that keeping the body fit is key to enjoying the “autumn years.” Increasingly, experts are learning that exercise is key to keeping the brain fit as well.
Scientists working on brain research found that participants between 55 and 80 who walk at least 30 minutes three times a week or more show better results in memory tests than their sedentary counterparts.
Walking builds up the connectivity between brain circuits. This matters because as we age, the connectivity between those circuits weakens, affecting how well we perform daily tasks such as driving. The verdict is out: aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, helps revive those flagging brain circuits.
If you already take a daily walk but more often use excuses not to do it, you can actually “work” while you wander. Observe nature. Look for signs of the changing seasons. Use your walking time to plan the novel, blog, poem, dinner menu or home project. The possibilities are endless.
Or, let’s say that on most days you can’t even get yourself out the door. I recommend teaming up with a “walking buddy.” Set up a regular day and be faithful to your self-created schedule.
After spending a portion of each day walking, I feel renewed and inspired. Even if you’re not addicted to walking, if you make it a habit, chances are, you will become a fan. You’ll be doing a favor for your body and your mind!