Thrill of the Hunt

A Scavenger Hunt Can Stimulate the Mind & Body

Blog post   •   May 23, 2016 14:22 EDT

There are those who hate exercise, actually probably more than a few. There are those who love to exercise, believe it or not. Then, there are those who exercise not because they love it, but because they know it's good for them.

Exercise doesn't mean, dressing in spandex and wearing sweat bands (I guess that's the 80's). Nope, exercise can be fun and interactive. Like what? Try a scavenger hunt with a physical activity aspect to it.

According to Marc Ettlinger, Research Neuroscientist at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says:

... the one activity that has been shown, over and over, to promote cognitive health is aerobic exercise.

Okay, so maybe going for a run isn't your thing. Although, if you'd be running your way through a competitive scavenger hunt supported by a huge final prize, perhaps you'd think differently about running. However, even brisk walking can have big benefits.

For example, walking 30 min./5x/week leads to 33% less Alzheimer's; jacking it up to vigorous exercise reduces AD by 50%.

There are two different aspects to a traditional scavenger hunt. Getting up, moving around is one part, but there's another bigger part to strengthen the brain.

There is also the question of which exercises are best. As Mattias Petter Johansson's answer notes, there's research showing that exercises that also engages the premotor cortex (complex motor planning) and visual and auditory processing areas (perceiving things) are better. Certainly makes sense! Or even jogging with a friend, where you walk and talk, would give you added, compounded benefits.

What does this mean? It means that doing something, meaning using your noodle, while moving the blood around the body is even better. Score.

These elements for a healthy body and mind are exactly what's prescribed in a typical ...

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A Scavenger Hunt Can Stimulate the Mind & Body