Olympic Sports Have Positive Effect on the Brain

Olympic sports have always represented power, strength, endurance, quickness, balance and more, but recent research has shown that the brain can also benefit.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have stated that exercise of any kind makes the heart pump faster - which, in turn, may lower a person's risk of developingdementia and cognitive decline.

The Mayo Clinic team also said that aerobic exercise can help heighten moods - making individuals happier and less stressed. Two of the most popular Olympic sports among people watching the games on TV and athletes all over the world are swimming and running. Swimming is lighter on the joints, but both are effective aerobic sports.

Other sports that provide powerful aerobic exercise are:

  • basketball
  • cycling
  • handball
  • hockey
  • race walking
  • tennis
Other sports featured in the Olympics can have positive benefits on brain function, such as:
  • Rowing
  • Canoeing
  • Fencing
  • Tae-kwon-do
  • Badminton
  • Ping-pong (Table Tennis)
In order to play ping-pong, tae-kwon-do, fencing and badminton - hand-eye coordination, agility and attention to detail are all necessary. However, it is the movement which is required to play these sports which help to boost the brain to work at its full potential.

Cardiovascular workouts, such as canoing and rowing fast in rough waters result in benefits for the brain, as well.

Rodolfo Savica, M.D., a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic commented: 

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. If the Olympic games push people to get active we definitely endorse that.

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