Forget the naysayers - playing bingo or doing the crossword could keep you mentally sharp, research suggests.
The brain is often described as being “like a muscle”. It’s a comparison that props up the brain training industry and keeps school children hunched over desks. We judge literacy and numeracy exercises as more beneficial for your brain than running, playing and learning on the move.
But the brain-as-muscle analogy doesn’t quite work. To build up your biceps you can’t avoid flexing them. When it comes to your brain, an oblique approach can be surprisingly effective. In particular, working your body’s muscles can actually benefit your grey matter.
Even a small increase in light activity, such as washing dishes, gardening, or simply walking around the house, might help stave off an early death among older adults, researchers say.
Being sedentary, for instance, by sitting for long periods of time, has been linked to an increased risk of developing many conditions, including heart disease, as well as an early death.