• 6 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young and Healthy

  • by Lindsay Schachinger

Not many people wake up in the morning excited to be one day older. In society, people want to look and feel as young as possible for as long as possible. It’s an uphill battle to keep your skin from wrinkling or your hair from graying. However, it is possible to slow the aging process on your brain.

        1. Exercise Your Brain – According to Reader’s Digest, your brain naturally starts to slow down as soon as you turn 30. To counteract this, your brain needs mental stimulation. This means, challenge your brain by solving puzzles, solving math problems, drawing, painting, and playing strategy-based games or other thought-provoking activities. This forces your mind to break the habit of completing tasks the same way every time. You don’t want your brain to get stuck in a set routine. By breaking the pattern, you train your brain to process faster and think outside of the box. You also increase its agility.
        2. Exercise Your Body – Physical exercise isn’t just important for keeping a lean figure, living a healthy lifestyle, and reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. It helps maintain a healthy brain. Working out has the potential to postpone signs of mental aging and restore memory. A combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training can put your brain in the best shape possible. These exercises increase blood supply to your brain, the connections between brain cells (synapses), and the amount of nutrients and oxygen getting to it. Break a sweat and keep your brain as sharp as a tack.
        3. Eat Healthy – Every day, you eat an average of three meals. But, of those three meals, what nutrients are you actually consuming? If you’re answer includes antioxidants then you may be on the path to a long healthy life. Additionally, as you age, you may want to take vitamin supplements, specifically the B vitamins. The food you feed your body is your body’s only source of fuel and energy to survive. This makes it imperative to give your body the resources it needs to function properly. Antioxidants, in particular, have the ability to destroy free radicals and safe guard your cells from damage and the risk of developing certain diseases. Because our brain is a part of our body, our diet in turn affects our brain. While overall balanced nutrition is important, antioxidants impact the neurons in our brain and help them perform at their maximum potential.
        4. Listen to Your Heart – High blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol are risk factors of dementia. Try to reduce their levels by exercising regularly, eating right, reducing stress, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding all tobacco products. If they refuse to lower, talk to your doctor about integrating medication into your daily regimen.
        5. Improve Your Mentality – Staying in tune with your emotions is key for sustaining a happy life and mind. Anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses can have a huge negative impact on your brain. Being aware of the signs of these illnesses allows them to be treated effectively.
          Chronic stress on your brain isn’t healthy. It can cause significant cognitive deficits in learning and memory. Learn how to keep an even keeled mind and cope with your stressors by devoting a period of time each day to participate in relaxing activities. These could include yoga, aerobics, meditation, dance lessons, or writing about your stress.
        6. Give Your Brain a Break– Have you ever heard of the saying, “Sleep on it”? Well, it’s an effective way to help your mind rest and recover. If you find yourself trying to solve a problem or work through an issue, but just can’t quite get to the answer, take a nap. When you wake up, you’ll feel rejuvenated and have a clear mind to face the problem in a different light. Catching some zzz’s will likely boost your creativity and you could possibly come up with an idea you wouldn’t have thought of in the first place.

Everybody is different and unique in their own way, so before making any lifestyle changes, it’s best to consult your physician. This will ensure you make the right choices for your individual health. This article is for informational purposes only.