To work your brain, work your body

Mar 13, 2009 By Julie Deardorff

The problem: I lost my car keys. What kind of training will make my brain work better?

The solution: Brain-boosting software programs are a booming business. And studies show that both computer exercises and old-fashioned mental activities - reading or crafting - can affect memory.

But the best thing you can do for your is to move your body.

"If I had to pick between and , I'd go with fitness," said Sam Wang, an associate professor of and molecular biology at Princeton University. So far, he said, has been shown to have an effect several times larger than computer-brain exercise.

But Wang noted that "fitness training only lasts as long as the benefit to your ." Brain exercise, on the other hand, "might last longer."

Why not combine mental and ? That's the idea behind Brain Center America's NeuroActive Bike, which allows people to select from 22 brain-stimulating exercises while they pedal.

Wang said he would never shell out $3,995 for the bike, which is available in the U.S. only in South Florida, but it could be a double workout for the brain.

What he would really like to see is a computer that works only if he's moving on an exercise bike or treadmill.

___

(c) 2009, Chicago Tribune.
Visit the Chicago Tribune on the Internet at www.chicagotribune.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Studying impacts of indoor air pollution on tribal communities

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Brain exercise gives mind a workout

Dec 27, 2006

A surge of new brain exercise products is offering baby boomers the hope of sharper minds, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Can mental training games help prevent Alzheimer's?

Mar 10, 2009

Loss of thinking power is a fear shared by many aging baby boomers. That fear has resulted in a budding industry for brain training products - exercises such as Brain Age, Mindfit and My Brain Trainer - which in 2007 generated ...

Computer exercises improve memory and attention

Feb 11, 2009

Study results to be published in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society show that computerized brain exercises can improve memory and lead to faster thinking.

Recommended for you

Paracetamol no better than placebo for lower back pain

1 hour ago

Paracetamol is no better than placebo at speeding recovery from acute episodes of lower back pain or improving pain levels, function, sleep, or quality of life, according to the first large randomised trial to compare the ...

User comments : 0