Exciting new brain science shows that your brain can continue to build new pathways and generate new neurons throughout your life. So that means it’s never too late to boost your brain power! Try these tips:
1. Give your brain a workout.
Read, learn a new language (or even a new word in your own language), try a new card game, do a crossword or Sadoku puzzle, jump online and try some brain games – any activity that requires concentration and focus and helps keeps your mind and memory sharp.
2. Spend time with loved ones.
Hanging out with friends and family is good for your brain? You bet! Maintaining social ties is critical to brain health. Be sure that you’re keeping up your own relationships—and encourage older relatives to get out of the house regularly to spend time with others.
3. Take up a new hobby.
When you learn something new, your brain actually builds new connections and pathways. That means you’ll have more ways to access the knowledge you already possess.
4. Get more exercise.
Exercise increases neural connections, promotes brain growth, and increases blood flow. And exercise that requires some mental processing – like learning a new sport or dance—is even better.
5. Eat right.
Just like the rest of you, your brain loves good food. Junk food, sugar, and saturated fats impair cognitive function and may actually decrease your brain’s ability to create new neural pathways. So keep it healthy! Diets rich in fruits and veggies supplies lots of healthy vitamins and antioxidants, which may protect your brain from the effects of aging. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids are especially good for your mind.
6. Catch some Z’s.
A rested brain is a happy brain, so make a point of getting adequate sleep. Without a good night’s sleep, your brain has a harder time converting new information into long-term memory.
7. Calm down.
Chronic stress affects every facet of your health – and your mental function is no exception. Out-of-control stress levels will compromise your memory, so be sure to carve out time to take care of yourself.
Your brain likes new things – so keep it in tip-top condition with new activities, and new hobbies. The more you learn, the better off you’ll be. And you’ll have fun doing it!
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