We’re guessing you saw the news this week that exercise can slow brain shrinkage in older people. A new study shows that if you’re over 70, breaking a sweat three times a week or so can do what puzzles, it turns out, can’t: Protect you from suffering the type of cognitive decline once considered an inevitable part of aging.
The research findings point to simple aerobic exercise three times a week or more—taking a brisk walk or bike ride, dancing your ass off—as a good way to ward off dementia. Other studies have suggested that resistance training can also help.
Since strong bodies make better walking bodies, we’ve tracked down a couple of websites that can help you stay fit, physically, emotionally and cognitively.
If you’re willing to splurge a little check out Wello, a site that sets you up with a virtual personal trainer. Using your computer webcam and screen, it lets you exercise at home for far less than a gym would cost you by matching you with trainers who know how to train remotely. Think Skype for workouts. You can search by type of workout (we picked Aerobic), trainer specialty (we selected Retiree) and price per session (this can be anywhere from $15 to $30, depending on the trainer and length of session). Once you’ve picked a trainer, just set a time for your session and when that time comes, put your computer on a surface where the camera can see what you’re doing, and your trainer will help you come up with and stick to a program. Unlike with exercise videos, there’s no cheating.
Nano Workout offers unmotivated and sedentary people—ie: people who work in offices or have low energy for workouts—an easy way to turn everyday activities into something a little more strenuous. Many of these micro-workouts are stretches; some focus on specific muscle groups; and others are mildly aerobic. To search by type, just click on one of the tags at the bottom of each post, including stretches in bed. No excuses!
Three of our favorites:
- The Basket Lift – just by bending your arms slightly while you’re carrying your groceries home, you can strengthen your upper arms. And turn a short walk into one that’s more aerobic.
- Leg Flexing – on the couch, while you’re watching TV. This strengthens your thighs and makes you a stronger walker.
- Stretch Hamstrings – in bed.
Several of the office workouts involve office chairs—don’t try these. In fact, you might want to start by clicking on the Easy Workouts tag.
If you have any favorite workout sites, or YouTube videos, share them in the comments box below.