Exercise helps the brain: BBC News Review

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  • ℹ️ Description
Your brain will work better if you take regular exercise, according to a study.


mentally quick and intelligent

keep (something) at bay
prevent (something) from happening

limited periods of time spent doing an activity

The story:
A study says moderate exercise several times a week is the best way for the over 50s to keep their brains in good working order.

Australian researchers say combining aerobic activities, such as swimming, cycling or jogging, with muscle-strengthening exercises is most effective.

They support the idea that taking up exercise at any age is worthwhile.

Neil and Catherine teach you how to use the language the world's media is using to discuss this story.


Download — Exercise helps the brain: BBC News Review

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Hello and welcome to News Review the program where we show you how to use the language from the latest news stories in your everyday English.

Hi, I'm Neil, joining me today is Catherine. Hello Catherine? "Hello Neil!!"
So, What's our story today?

OK, Today's story is an exercise story. Now we all know that exercise is good for the body, but today we're going to find out how exercise is also good for the mind.

Ok, Interesting stuff. Let's find out more from this BBC radio 4 news report.

Ok, so, Everybody knows that exercise is good for the body. It keeps your body working well, it keeps your body healthy.
but Australian scientists have done some research which shows that exercise can also keep the brain and mind working well and healthy.
and if you keep your mind working well, your brain healthy,
it means that all the people will have less chance of developing disease of the brain.
This means that a memory loss will be less, and in particular, a condition called " " will happen less, if you take exercise as you get older.

Ok, You've been looking at all the news website to find the words and expressions that people need to understand and to be able to use to talk about this story.
What have you found?

OK, We have "sharp", "keep something at bay" and "stint".

So that first one there shop

Ok, If we go to BBC news website, their headline is "Exercise 'keeps the mind sharp' in over 50s, study finds"

sharp meaning mentally quick and intelligent. "Yup"
and Catherine, I don't think I'm very sharp. because as you know, I often get confused. I thought that the sharp was used to describe a knife.

You're right Neil. you're clearly not very sharp in your mind. because I you were, you know that the word sharp often describes the way people think.
If you have a sharp mind, you have a lot of intelligence and you can cut away unnecessary information and you can cut away, you can cut straight to the most important point of a situation.
You can find a solution very quickly.
So, a sharp mind means when it cuts away all the unimportant stuff.
It means you're intelligent and you're a really quick thinker.

Ok, We can use sharp not just with mind, we can also use it with wit, for example.

Yup. If you have a sharp wit, it means that you're really quick thinking and quick talking often quite funny and comic things that you say.
and we can talk about a sharp interact. If you have a sharp interact, it means that you're quite academic, you can understand a complex problems and situations very easily, and you're good at studying in academia.

Well, we do need to be careful of opposite here, because there's a direct opposite of sharp, which is...?

Well, for a knife, if you have a sharp, if your knife isn't sharp, it's blunt

But we don't use blunt to describe someone who is the opposite of %$@#$^%$#

I'd like to, but you can't, not usually, no, you can't say that the opposite of a sharp mind is a blunt mind. We don't usually say that. "OK"

Ok, Moving on to your next headline.

OK, so, Now we're looking at the Daily Express "Exercise keeps dementia at bay: Running and walking 'significantly' boosts brain power"

So, to keep something at bay is to prevent something from happening.
It's quite a strange ( ) expression but very common.

It is very common, you can, it's used in everyday English, we ( ) here in this headline but you will hear it all over the place.
and the origin of this one is quite interesting, it's actually an animal idiom.
So, going back to the days when people did a lot of hunting with dogs.
and you use dogs to help you catch and hunt another animal.
and the dogs are excited, they can smell the animals, barking, they're making lots of noises. another word for barking in a dog is bay.
Whenever dog is baying, it's hauling, it's on the lead you're holding it back.
it wants to go, it wants to attack, it wants to run.
If you keep the dog at bay, you make it to stay away from the thingy it wants to catch.

It's not something that you want to do on the other side of it.

No, No, No, No not at all. (((*** I'm not sure how many times Catherine said No No No No, I think it was four times. sorry about that :-)) ***)))

If you keep something at bay, you mean that thing that wants to get your course on damage or difficulty, you stay away from it, you make it to stay away from you.

So, Can you give me an example?

Well, I actually have a little bit of, which call it. a hay fever. hay fever.

a bad time of year.

It's awful, ( ), I'm sneezing and sniffing, and I'd taken antihistamine tablet everyday to keep my hay fever at bay.

Ahh, In the winter, I get a cold all the time. " you do"
so, to try to keep a cold at bay, I take something called ( ).

Yes, and it helps to stop this horrible happening.

That's right. yeah, talking about a horrible thing.

Yeah, you have an anther example.

Yeah, so, umm, say, the boss. yeah he wanted me to do this project.

He's after you. he wants you to do, he does, yeah,

but you know what? I haven't done it.

You haven't, so how are you gonna keep him at bay?

I kept him at bay, I dumped a big lot of different papers on his desk
and said that "got some stuff for you to look at" and then I left.
I think that will keep him at bay for a while.

Well, I hope you're right.

Ok, Moving on to our last headline.

Ok, so, Let's go to the Yorkshire post "Stints of exercise can boost brain power in over-50s, say experts"

So, stint, a limited period of time spent doing an activity.
very ( ), "it is" very common.

and an important thing about this one is that time, it's a limited amount of time doing a particular activity, but it can be a very short time and it can actually be a very long time.
so you can have a stint, in a, as a presenter, you have a five minutes of stint in a studio or you can have a long stint working somewhere.
I believe you have a stint working in Japan. Didn't you?

I did. yeah. I had a stint working in Japan. and I had a longer stint working in the Czech republic.

Right, so, you can have a stint or you can do a stint. yeah.
and how long was it the Czech republic job?

Ahh, three years.

Right. not short at all.

No, No, so, it's relative, isn't it? "Absolutely"
My life is quite long. "That's true" I hope. "hopefully"
and this stint is a relatively short period of time.

Now, stint can be followed by either a verb ing, so you can have a stint working somewhere or you can have a stint at something.

yeah, or. stint as something. ( ) I had a stint as a deep sea diver.

"Did you Lol?"

For example, I didn't, can you tell?

yes, I can, actually

Author — jin oung lee


I've been listening to BBC for a long time but this is my first time I can see Neil and Catherine in Video

Author — Nick Lee


This brings quite important vocabulary over in a cosy communicative atmosphere. I feel so british. GREAT!

Author — Rosa R.


Before knowing BBC Learning English, I have had a stint studying english in school. I firmly believe I have a very sharp mind which has been working really hard to keep my stupidity at bay.

Author — Tri Nguyen


My teacher used to say : "If you want to achieve sharp intellectual mind, you have to keep minor details at bay, instead, have a long stint practicing how to target important information "

Author — Châu Đức Nguyên


Neil, I really love your voice :) I'm happy to see you finally. You both doing great job! Thanks

Author — Radoslawa Olejniczak


I have been start learning English with TV program, so I keep the old methology at bay. But stints learning English in school give me a basical vocabulary and gramma.

Author — Thị Lưu Mận Trần


Thank Catherine and Neil! I like this course and the program ’News Review'.

Author — Liza P


I had a long stint playing volleyball to keep my weakness at bay but I realize it does not help me become a sharp girl.Therefore, I take up a new kind of sport.

Author — Thị Trang Trần


i'm glad to be learning and knowing words about English, i really like that kind of learning's way and such a great tool for whom wants to learn English that's the most important thing must one have, thank you so much

Author — sebastian alegria


Great way to make clear about new words and phrases..Thanks bbc

Author — Manoj Pant


It seems that we sometimes were struggling at these expressions we see or hear when we try news. Good job you really do us a great favour, thank you

Author — Razzaq Al-fadhli


Greetings from Mexico, I'm working on improving my accent, I love brirtish accent, it's so fancy!!

Author — Manuel Luna


I’m so glad to see you!!! I really love your voices!!! Thank you - you voices really help me to carry on learning English

Author — Ксения Тугарева


Thank you Neil and Catherine ! I love hearing you.

Author — Ablan Elvira


She is a sharp girl
I keep my bad habits at bay
To be honest, I can not understand how to use the last word: stint

Author — Liên Nguyễn


Greetings from Indonesia. Learning something new everyday during this pandemic. Thaaanks a lot BBC!

Author — Eni Hidayati


If you wish to keep you mind sharp. I would recommend you to do some stint work-outs that will boost your brain power and keep diseases at bay

Author — Thủy tiên Nguyễn


I completely didn't realise the origine of "keep sth at bay" Nice to know at last :) Thx

Author — grujarek


Thank you so much for this news review.

Author — Haridan Jhon