Why do you exercise and take care of your health? To stay young and feeling well. But what about your brain health? What do you do to keep your brain young and working perfectly? Your brain is like a fine wine in the sense that it gets better with age, but only if you use it properly. It’s crucial to keep your brain active in the right way because not all brain activity is created the same. If you don’t know how to retain your brain sharpness long into the future, here are a few tips that will help you on your healthy brain journey.
Stimulate It Every Day
Performing brainy tasks every day is connected with nerve cell health and can even help the brain create new cells, develop neurological plasticity and build up a reserve of cells that will protect the brain against significant loss in the future. This research works both on mice and humans, so it’s a piece of pretty good evidence. Practically any activity that mentally stimulates you can build up your brain, but reading, doing word puzzles and solving math problems are overall the best. And don’t forget to experiment with activities that require the use of hands. Activities like drawing, painting, crafting and DIY are great for brain health.
Continue To Learn
Higher levels of education are connected with better mental functioning in old age, and your pursuit of knowledge can keep your memory strong and your brain active. Challenging your brain with learning new things can activate processes that maintain brain cell health and encourage communication between them. You can take up a new task at work, pursue a new hobby, engage in learning a new skill, mentor someone at work or home or volunteer at your local community center—these can all keep your mind sharp.
Using your muscles also helps maintain brain health and longevity. According to research, animals who get enough exercise have more blood vessels in the brain which can bring new blood to it and encourage thought. Exercise is also responsible for new cell growth and connection increase in the brain. As a result, you get a more efficient and adaptive brain that can achieve better performance in aging individuals. And, it’s important not to forget that exercise lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol and balances blood sugar—these help your brain and heart function for a very long time.
Improve Your Diet
Did you know that a good diet helps keep your body young, but also your brain? According to research, people who eat a Mediterranean diet that focuses on fresh vegetables and fruit, fish, nuts, olive oil and different protein plants are less likely to develop dementia and other kinds of cognitive impairment. Also, instead of drinking alcohol or coffee, you can rely on tasty smart drinks that are filled with vitamins, extracts and caffeine. They can help you as you work or train, but also protect nerves in the long run. These nootropic supplements can help manage neurological condition-caused pain, as well as ease symptoms of neuropathy, both of which can result in improved motor function and better overall neural health.
If you perform physical and mental activities, you will also achieve better sleep. And sleep is great for the brain since it can improve your memory and contribute to better Alzheimer’s protection. Sleep is crucial for brain health and it’s necessary for the detoxification of the brain.
It’s not new information that having quality social connections helps the brain stay youthful for longer, but just recently we got concrete proof that links social activity and brain health. According to a 2007 study conducted on 2,200 women during four years, the scientists discovered that women who had a larger social network and regular social contact had a lower risk of dementia (no matter the age and hormone use). If you lack social connections, make sure to join a group, take a class or schedule regular visits (phone calls during the pandemic) with your friends and family. As stated above already, volunteering your time is a great activity that has many benefits to your brain, activity, social connections and your entire community.
Listen To Music
Rare are the people who don’t like listening to music, but did you know that this activity has more benefits than just fun? According to research, actively listening to music and letting it carry your thoughts away can regenerate your brain and boost its networks and overall energy flow.
Take Care Of Your Overall Wellness
Anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and exhaustion causes people to score poorly on their cognitive function tests. While test results don’t always predict the risk of cognitive decline in senior years, overall good mental health certainly helps in brain health maintenance.
As long as you actively pursue brain challenges and physical challenges, and properly feed and treat your brain, expect to be blessed with good mental health and brain sharpness in old age.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in business and marketing related topics.
In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.