Aerobic exercises can benefit your brain: Study

Updated: Aug 01, 2012, 18:45 PM IST

Washington: Here is Olympics for the rest of us! According to a new research any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

Researchers from Mayo Clinic found that aerobic exercise can sharpen the brain and also boost the mood.

"We know that 30 minutes of aerobic activity of any kind five times per week is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline. So it is important to stay active often and as early as you can," Rodolfo Savica, a Mayo Clinic neurologist said in a statement.

Running and swimming, two of the Olympic sports most popular with fitness buffs and TV viewers alike, each provide excellent aerobic workouts.

Swimming has the added benefit of taking it easy on the joints. Basketball, cycling, football, hockey, handball, race walking and tennis also provide vigorous aerobic exercise.

Fast-paced sessions of badminton, ping-pong, taekwondo and fencing all require concentration, hand-eye coordination and precision and put participants on the move, providing valuable aerobic activity.

Rowing and canoeing particularly if the water is choppy or the pace is brisk also provide great cardiovascular workouts that can benefit the brain.