As you age, it’s very important to keep your mind sharp and your brain healthy. Science points to a combination of social factors and healthy habits that can help keep it healthy and preserve its functions over time. While experts used to think that brain development peaked in late adolescence and it was all downhill from there, now we know that the brain can grow new cells and form new neural connections. Here are some tips on how to help your own brain do this:
- Exercise regularly: Exercise is good for all your body, and this includes your brain. As little as 30 minutes per day, physical exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which increases cognitive function.
- Watch what you consume: It has been found that high blood sugar can increase your risk for dementia, even without diabetes. Also, if you smoke, quit, as tobacco harms all your organs, including your brain.
- Keep your mind stimulated: Just like our muscles and other body parts, the brain can rebuild itself through repeated use and exercise. Some exercises for the brain include puzzles and games, but also learning a new language, social activities that keep you independent and engaged with friends and family and trying out new hobbies maintain a healthy brain.
- Sleep Well: Bad sleepers are linked to slower thinking and risk of dementia, so make sure you get from seven to nine hours of sleep - preferably at night. Also, try not to take any medication to sleep, as they can make cognitive problems worse.
What other good habits do you practice or perhaps you can think of trying out for the first time to keep your brain going strong?