How do you keep your brain sharp and young as you get older? There are many not-so-fun side effects of getting older and many reasons not to look forward to the inevitable march of time. While many of the downsides we tend to focus on are to do with our bodies failing us, a worse situation is when our mind starts to give in and we find ourselves becoming much slower in our thinking and more forgetful. Even if we don’t necessarily suffer from any specific condition such as dementia, we can still find ourselves getting slower in our thoughts and struggling to keep up with everyone else. This can be immensely upsetting and isolating.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. If you are willing to put in the time and the effort, your brain can be strengthened and kept young just like a muscle. Please see below for a look at how you can keep your brain sharper, including some ways that you can prevent some cognitive decline that is age related.
Exercise to keep your brain sharp and young
Exercising is an important way to keep your body strong and healthy as you get older. But it has other notable benefits too. One of the most useful of these is the way it can help to strengthen your brain. If you’ve ever struggled with short-term memory loss as you’ve gotten older, then I’ve got some good news. Memory improvement is a positive effect of an exercise regime involving lots of cardio.
The saying ‘use it or lose it’ is definitely one that applies here. Using our brain regularly in creative ways is one of the very best ways you can avoid deterioration. The best uses are ones that involve forward planning and holding numbers, so if games like chess or even computer games are ideal. These work the ‘fluid intelligence’ by training working memory. Learning new tasks is also important, as this helps to encourage ‘brain plasticity’ to keep the brain limber and ensure you can teach old dogs new tricks. Anything along these lines will help such as reading on a consistent basis.
The right diet for you can do wonders. This can positively impact your brain and helping to prevent the onset of various neurological diseases or general deterioration. Particularly useful are fatty acids such as omega 3 which you can get from fish and supplements, vitamins such as B9 (also known as folic acid) which can be found in fruits and veg and amino acids (proteins) which you can get from meat or from supplementation.
Similarly, your lifestyle can also have an impact on your mental health. Your sleep regime and your environment can affect your brain, while alcohol consumption can also have a huge negative impact. Live in a manner that is conducive to good brain health and you will get more benefits all round.
Old age shouldn’t look like a training program filled with brain tasks, gym sessions and supplements. It is better to lead a lifestyle that will keep you active and engaged. For instance, you can benefit from staying working past retirement or from starting new hobbies. As long as you keep challenging yourself and pushing yourself, your brain won’t start to go to waste.