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While any type of physical activity improves your noggin's power and cognitive function, this type of training uses specific movement patterns and learning challenges to help boost both brain and body benefits even more. “Research has found that reactive exercise improves something called BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a neurotransmitter that improves brain function and cognition,” McCall says.
Look for exercise-based video games and small group training classes that require users to make more decisions, which improves the cognitive process, he adds. Or DIY by doing drills that incorporate new footwork patterns (such as carioca steps) on an agility ladder (if you don't have one, create the boxes with masking tape or colored chalk) instead of running on a treadmill, or simply walk across a balance beam.
These next-big-things in exercise will be hot this year, and our experts share how to use them to help you reach your goals