Yes, the Irish jig is one way! Research finds moderate aerobic exercise helps protect brain health! (P.J. Snyder, professor of neurology at Brown University). Further, he has found that six months of aerobic exercise leads to growth of brain cells and an increase in connections. These new pathways are in parts of the brain that are critically important for learning and memory.
Here are some other suggestions to try to “grow your brain”.
- Get physical four hours after learning something new.
If you need to memorize that presentation for work, go over the material, then jump on the treadmill a while later. Research from the Netherlands found that a time-delayed exercise session consolidates memories in the hippocampus, the part of our brain that helps us learn quickly and effectively.
- Think on your feet.
A number of studies from Texas A&M University have shown that working at a standing desk improves our brain’s time management, fact retention and comprehension skills. The change from sitting to standing while at work or home may break up boredom and refocus our attention in a fresh way.
- Never stifle a yawn.
The physical mechanism of a good yawn actually cools down your brain, leading to better mental efficiency.
The key is to get moving physically and to challenge our thinking at any age. Find more ways to better brain health at the Center for Brain Health, University of Texas.
Although St Patrick’s Day comes but once a year, we now see doing the jig really does make us smarter!