Tennis, Brain Activity, & Memory Loss
Recently, a book was published titled Put Your Brain First. PebbleCreek resident, Donna Gillen, received a copy of the first published draft a few months ago by her college roommate, Alison Kal. The book includes many very interesting studies about brain health and physical activities. This article, Tennis, Brain Activity, & Memory Loss, will briefly sum up the book and the studies along with references.
Why would this article be written for the PebbleCreek Post by an avid tennis player? The book explores multitasking physical activity and its relationship to brain fitness. Tennis happens to be one of the best activities for older adults (seniors) to keep their brains functioning in tip-top condition.
Tennis requires so many physical and mental connections to play smartly, safely, and successfully. A player needs to be agile, quick-minded, calculating, and have extraordinary muscle memory and endurance, all while concentrating on a fast-moving ball in the process.
Over the summer, there have been articles in the PebbleCreek Post regarding the active tennis players who are 55+ and often in their 80s and 90s. They may not be quite as mobile as they were 10 years ago, but their accuracy on the courts requires short runs and more mental acuity to calculate exactly how many steps, how long to wait, and then determine how to respond to that little yellow ball approaching them. It is with awe to watch their matches.
Put Your Brain First points out that many older adults mentally stimulate their brains with Sudoku, crosswords, card games, etc. These activities do not get the brain as fully engaged as when activity includes a physical component.
This book lists tennis as second best. The best activity is ballroom dancing. When combining music, tempo, and a partner, you have a recipe for disaster on the floor, unless you are using your brainpower and have the stamina to.
Recently, USA Today published an article supporting the importance of physical activity through a study by Wake Forest College. Their study took sedentary people and randomly divided them between groups—one that would exercise and one remaining sedentary. All participants had memory issues. The study concluded physical activity could slow memory decline.
In conclusion, whether you are on the dance floor, courts, the greens, or running the bases, keep your brain active! Let’s work to stay active both physically and cognitively!
Written by: Donna Gillen
Active Living at PebbleCreek
At PebbleCreek, 55 and over adults have a myriad of choices for active living! The high-end amenities such as 54-holes of golf, Pickleball, and tennis offer great opportunities for physical activity. In addition, many clubs, classes, and activities provide additional ways to keep active in retirement. Learn more now about what makes PebbleCreek one of the top Arizona retirement communities.