What could be one of the best ways to keep your brain sharp? It ain’t crosswords…

What's the best way to keep your brain sharp?

When most of us think about keeping our brains flexible and powerful, most of us probably think of things like brainteasers...


Gimme that seed! GIF via DailyPicksandFlicks/YouTube.

...or jigsaw puzzles...


Behold! The most satisfying video on the internet. GIF via OskarPuzzle/YouTube.

...or crosswords.

Oh my God, they're doing it in pen. Hard. Core.

And brain challenges can help, although not every puzzle is created equal (some studies suggest that doing a bunch of crosswords might just make you better at crosswords, for example).

But maybe we need some of THIS added to the mix:

Don't bother him, he's exercising his brain.

Exercise won't just make you swole, a new study shows it also keeps your brain young.

As we get older, our brains tend to slow down a bit, but a study published in Neurology showed that exercise keeps our brains quick, sharp, and powerful.

The study followed about 900 older people over the course of many years. The researchers judged how much exercise the people were getting, then over the course of more than a decade, they judged their mental capabilities using memory and logic tests. They even used MRIs.

At the end, the study showed people who intensely exercised had brains that looked 10 years younger than their peers.

Those people were both quicker at figuring things out and had better memories. The researchers note that it wasn't just any exercise — the benefit came for the people who got regular moderate to intense exercise, like running or aerobics.

The researchers did caution that they can't draw a direct 1:1 relationship between exercise and brain aging, but exercise carries a lot of other benefits that might come around to helping our brains anyway. Exercise can help fight off hypertension (which can affect our brains) and decrease stress (which is a good thing all around). Some studies have even suggested exercise can make your brain bigger by volume!

Go for the gold!

Brain training.

So the next time you think about staying sharp, it might be time to put down the crossword puzzle and break out those running shoes.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."