The Best Sports for the Brain

Concentration, memory, mood… Sport greatly optimizes our mental abilities. What sports are best for strengthening the brain? What are the benefits? Which ones to avoid? Explanations with Dr. Mark Rosenblatt, sports medicine doctor.

What are the benefits of sports for the brain?

Sport stimulates the secretion of feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin, which are particularly involved in mood regulation.

If sport strengthens such body organs as the heart and muscles, it also has many positive effects on brain health and cognition. IN facilitating oxygenation and cerebral metabolismthat is, brain activity, physical activity significantly reduces risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Physical activity contributes brain plasticity and the creation of new neural connections. In addition, it stimulates the secretion of well-being neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin which are particularly involved in mood regulation. That’s why we feel so good after exercising! In general, sport allows prevent cognitive decline and depressionimprove opportunities concentration and memory. “Sports can only be good for the brain, except in cases of concussion, which are bad for the brain. This is why rules have been introduced in some practices to preserve the brain integrity of athletes.“, – comments Dr. Mark Rosenblat.

What sports are best for strengthening the brain?

Some sports are especially effective for stimulating the production of new brain cells:

  • The so-called intellectual sport. which work the brain and help maintain intellectual activity. The most popular mind sport in the world is chess.
  • Tactical sports: billiards, because you need to have an eye, golf, which requires thinking and concentration.
  • Precise sports: archery or darts that work for concentration.
  • Sports that calm the brain: yoga and dancing, which help maintain intelligence and alertness.

What sports are best for cognitive performance?

To develop vision, we can move on to sports practices that use this function: archery, darts or pistol, advises a specialist. There is everything for the development of hearing racket and ball games, especially because it requires hearing the ball approach. On the other hand, there is no sport that specifically develops the sense of smell.”

What sports are best for concentration?

Sports prove to be a great tool to increase your ability to concentrate. Special mention tennis, golf, yoga, archery and darts that require constant attention, but also billiards or snooker who succeeds in coordinationor memory dance“, illustrates our interlocutor.

What sports are best for treating neurodegenerative diseases?

If it can be proven that sport, whatever the discipline, has a protective effect on neurodegenerative diseases, people who suffer from it actually have very little physical activity because they are relatively limited in their movements. “Therefore, we are going to offer them rather mild activities such as yoga or dance. It also depends on the behavior of the patients, because some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, lead to a certain aggressiveness, in which case it is not easy to participate in group activities. In any case, the idea is to keep the intelligence and make the memory work.“, explains Dr. Mark Rosenblat in detail.

What sports are bad for the brain?

All those that can lead to head injury, namely martial arts, contact sports and high inertia sports such as motorsport, alpine skiing, luge or even bobsleigh. There are also weight sports that generate a lot of metabolic waste: weight sports, short and intense efforts that cause significant production of lactic acid, which is bad for the brain, which needs to be irrigated. Good recovery is essential after this type of activity.“, says the sports doctor.

Thanks to Dr. Mark Rosenblat, Sports Physician, President of the National Union of Sports Physicians Health