One of the most expected fears that comes along with ageing is a decline in cognitive functioning and ability. Though as we age brain changes are inevitable, the good news is we can always maintain good brain health by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of the easy ways to keep your brain healthy and young:
Physical activity increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk of disorders that lead to memory loss, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Even a 30 minutes’ walk helps to keep the brain young!
Mental stimulation and creative activities like word games, puzzles, mental math, quizzes, art and craft and painting help in building new connections between nerve cells and even help in generating new brain cells. The simple idea is to give a good workout to your brain.
Researchers don’t know the exact reason for this, but a good sleep is known to help your brain consolidate and organize information, so that it comes back to you correctly. A sleep of 7-8 hours is necessary for brain to function at its best.
Many researches have proved that intake of certain food can slow down mental decline. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, some berries and omega 3 oils found in oily fish (and some grains) appear to improve memory and overall brain function, as do green tea and nuts. Also, protein sources such as meat, eggs, beans, peas helps in producing neurotransmitters which in turn enhance mental alertness.
Take up a language class, a musical instrument or simply memorize poetry. Asking your brain to do some new tricks every now and then keeps it active and receptive to learning.
It has been proven that older adults who are less socially active have more cognitive and physical limitations. Relationships stimulate our brain—in fact, interacting with others may be the best kind of brain exercise.
Stress is the brain’s worst enemy. Chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones. Find a way to release your stress, e.g. through breathing exercises or meditation or playing an instrument etc.
Volunteering adds to a person’s well-being and overall health. Not only does it feel good, but it promotes brain health by raising self-esteem.
Excessive alcohol intake can raise the risk for dementia. However evidence suggests that enjoying moderate consumption of alcohol may actually reduce your risk of dementia.
Laughter is the best medicine and that holds true for the brain and memory. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain.