Ways to Improve Your Brain as You Age

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No matter who you are, your body declines with age and stops operating in the way it used to. Naturally, the brain will begin to slow with age. It’s one of those things that is essentially inevitable. Conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s start to show up and negatively affect the brain. While people are young, diseases like this are the furthest thing from their minds. As time goes on, more research means that we can catch these diseases earlier to prevent long-term issues.

The brain is very similar to a muscle, which means it needs to be worked out every day to stay strong and functional in the long run. Here are some tips for maintaining strong brain activity.

Stimulate the Mind

Anything from crossword puzzles, sudoku, Rubix cube, or even Jenga can help stimulate your brain. This stimulation is what helps connect nerve cells and encourages the brain to generate new cells. Simply put, when your brain develops neurological flexibility, it helps build up a functional conserve that holds up a barrier for any potential cell loss.

You don’t have to limit yourself to board games or puzzles in your newspaper. There are now online games and apps like Lumosity that require lots of brainwork that can keep your mind sharp for years to come. Stimulating your brain also doesn’t have to be done alone. You can involve friends and loved ones in challenging games like Taboo that require people to use their critical thinking skills.

Get Active, Eat Right, and Improve Your Body

One thing that needs to be understood about brain health is that the muscles in your body also help your mind. The more you exercise, the higher the number of tiny blood vessels that flow oxygen-rich blood to the part of the brain that is responsible for thought. When you keep your body moving spikes the development of new nerve cells and increases the connections between brain cells. It works as a domino effect as it creates a more adaptive and efficient performing brain when it ages.

Mental stress can be reduced through exercise, resulting in lower blood pressure and blood sugar balance which helps the brain in the long run. Any time you begin exercising to improve your health, accompanying it with good nutrition can help your body and mind. A diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts can help with cognitive impairment. Avoid foods that are high in sodium to keep your blood pressure down.

As people age, high blood pressure can cause them to be at high risk for cognitive decline. Try to stay as lean as possible, exercise regularly, limit your alcohol intake, and reduce your stress levels. The same goes for your blood sugar. Diseases like diabetes heighten the risks of dementia.

Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco

Drinking alcohol excessively over a long period can cause brain damage. It may also play a part in elders developing dementia. Fortunately, drinking in moderation hasn’t been linked to increasing the risk for dementia. This shouldn’t be looked at as a green light for those who do not drink. Those who choose to drink heavily for a long period are more likely to have decreased volume of the brain’s white matter. This white matter transmits signals between different parts of the brain. Ultimately there will be a decline in brain function with excessive drinking.

More Social Interaction

To keep a healthy functioning brain, humans need social interactions. Staying active mentally as you age will ensure that your brain is a well-oiled machine. From the day people are born, interacting with others has had a significant impact on your cognitive development. The relationships you have with your parents, friends, and teachers help you learn how to receive information and express emotions. When you have social networks and sustain activity with others that exercise your brain, it will improve cognitive function.

Social interaction is more than just going out with friends to have mindless fun. It takes intention. Be intentional with what you choose to do when you do interact with people. Taking the time to have in-depth conversations with people who have different perspectives can help your brain grow stronger as you age. If you have older people in your life, you are doing them a favor when you call or visit and have a long conversation with them. The conversations alone are helping with memory. Their brain is forced to work and recall things from the past, or, in some cases, think critically about certain decisions.

No matter what age you are, building your brain is important. Eventually, everyone will grow old, so it’s important to take care of your body as a whole. Try to continuously stimulate your mind and the minds of others. Take advantage of the opportunity to get physically and mentally fit while you are young and work to sustain it. Everything in the body is connected; this means that the more you exercise, and the better you eat, will set you up for a long, healthy life. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, professionals can help. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia can be highly stressful for those dealing with them. It can also be difficult for those who have a loved one in that battle. Kimberly Center has plenty of professionals who are ready to help you and your loved ones. Contact us at (855) 452-3683.

Kimberly Center Staff
Kimberly Center Staff
Publishing account for ADDICTION RECOVERY

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