The slowing down of the brain is inevitable as we age. Studies show that throughout our lifetime, the brain changes more than any part of our body. As we get older, problems with multi-tasking, recalling things, and getting lost even in familiar places can happen because of the natural deterioration of our brain.
According to the National Institute of Aging, certain parts of the brain shrink as we age and these are parts of the brain that are necessary for learning and mental activities. In many regions of the brain, physical measures of brain structure also showed atrophy or loss of volume.
Memory lapses and brain depreciation are the most feared consequences of aging, but thanks to decades of research, there are now proven activities that can help prevent cognitive decline. Here are four simple strategies you can do to keep your mind sharp and healthy.
Most of us are committed to staying active in order to reduce the risk of health problems and to lose extra weight. However, exercise has also been proven to help in protecting memory and thinking skills. A combination of aerobic exercise, coupled with strength exercises can increase cognitive function. Regularly working up a sweat will keep your brain awake and feeling refreshed.
Learn a new skill
The benefit of learning a new skill goes beyond the actual acquisition of a new skill. The biggest benefit you can get from learning a new skill is the improvement of brain speed. Whether it’s learning to play an instrument, studying a new language, or solving math and logic puzzles, engaging in unfamiliar activities that can challenge the brain may provide stimulation that can improve cognitive processes.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is an important time for brain development and function, and a good night’s sleep is one of the best things we can do for our brains. By staying up every night and depriving yourself of complete sleep, you are denying yourself the restorative power that sleep can give to your brain. Through sleeping, our brains can prepare for the next day and form new pathways that help us learn and remember information.
Studies also show that sleep deprivation can alter brain activities. People who get less sleep struggle in decision making, problem-solving and emotion control.
Eat a healthy diet
A well-balanced diet can also help in keeping our brain in peak working condition. According to Harvard Health Publishing, nutritionists found that following a healthy dietary pattern on a regular basis can translate into an improvement of mental function. Research also showed that the best types of food for your brain are the ones that are good for the heart such as green vegetables, fish, berries, and walnuts.
While aging is something we can’t control and we all have to face eventually, what we can control is our day to day activities. There is no single way or a magic pill to stop cognitive decline. All we can do is make it a point to do something every day that will improve brain function and mental wellbeing.