A new study has found that Olympic sports not only helps physically by improving strength, endurance and agility, but can also help your brain.
A research by Mayo Clinic shows that any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment.
The physical benefits of the Olympic sports are pretty obvious: strength, endurance and agility, to name a few. But did you know they also can help the brain? Mayo Clinic research shows that any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment -- and slow those conditions if they start. Aerobic exercise also can boost your mood.
• Ping-pong, also known as table tennis
Fast-paced sessions of badminton, ping-pong, taekwondo and fencing all require concentration, hand-eye coordination and precision, but that's not why they can help keep the brain sharp. All also 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.
"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," says Rodolfo Savica, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist. "And if the Olympic Games push people to get active, we definitely endorse that."