People often say, “You’re only as old as you feel,” and to some extent, that’s true. There are a wide variety of activities people engage in to keep themselves healthy, ranging from regular exercise to eating right and being around loved ones.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
However, the aging process isn’t solely dependent on a person’s outlook and lifestyle. Many parts of our body naturally decline with age, although it’s possible to slow the process.
The brain is a part of the body that can be affected by ailments like Alzheimer’s Disease later in life, but there are several things you can do to keep your brain young and healthy, even as the number of years you’ve been on the planet goes up.
Keep reading for more details…
1. Get Musical
Scientists have discovered that listening to music from the Baroque period, such as Vivaldi and Bach, can change your brain in positive ways by helping you have a better attention span and to remember events.
Furthermore, if you decide to actually learn to play an instrument, doing so is another way to help your memory remain sharp. From memorizing patterns of notes to recalling how to have the proper hand position as you hold the instrument, there are plenty of things you’ll naturally need to remember as you try to master your instrument of choice.
Even if you make mistakes along the way, you’ll be gaining a new skill and naturally increasing brain power.
2. Engage In Enough Exercise
Most people know that certain types of exercise lead to stronger muscles. However, there is also evidence to suggest it strengthens the mind as well as the body. That’s because regular exercise increases the number of blood vessels that deliver blood to the part of the brain that handles thought.
Furthermore, exercise causes an increase in the number of synapses, or connections, between brain cells, and assists in the development of new nerve cells. All these changes help the brain to be more adaptive, which means the brain is better able to perform despite aging.
3. Safeguard Yourself From Head Injuries
You may be surprised to learn that a head injury you had when you were younger could play a role in your brain’s health when you’re older. For example, having a concussion early in life makes you 10 times more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment during old age.
Always wear a helmet when biking or playing certain types of sports that have headgear as a standard part of the uniform. Also, don’t take chances. Accidents can happen in an instant, so even if you’re just hopping on your bike to go down to the end of the block but not wearing a helmet, that decision could carry severe consequences.
Horseback riding is another activity that could cause you to end up with head injuries. If you fall from your mount or get kicked in the head, that could result in severe side effects immediately and over a long-term basis.
4. Learn A New Language
There are numerous reasons why people learn languages other than their native tongues. They may want to become more marketable in their career fields by becoming bilingual and thereby being able to assist a greater percentage of people due to the reduced language barrier.
Perhaps they want to become conversational in a new language before traveling abroad for a vacation, or maybe just want to learn the language for personal enjoyment.
Whatever the reason for getting acquainted with a new language, studies show that doing so could stave off dementia for more than four years longer than people who only speak one language. Additional studies have found that knowing more than one language makes people able to do several tasks at once and pay attention better than peers who are not multilingual.
Experts say that the earlier a person learns the language, the greater the potential brain benefits. However, even if you are an older person who desires to become familiar with a new language, that doesn’t mean your efforts won’t have value.
When you’re actively doing something to stimulate your brain by learning, that’s better than not engaging in a healthy activity at all. Also, don’t worry if your schedule doesn’t allow for you to take an intensive language course. Some research shows even just studying your new language for 10 minutes a day is good for the brain.
5. Ask Your Doctor About Taking Low-Dose Aspirin
Some studies have indicated there is a possible link between taking low-dose aspirin and having up to a 55 percent reduction in your likelihood of getting dementia. Because studies are still ongoing, scientists are not at the point where they are ready to emphatically recommend that people take low doses of aspirin specifically for dementia avoidance.
However, based on personal circumstances, you may find it useful to have a chat with your doctor and see if they recommend this course of action for you.
6. Be Mindful Of Your Mental Attitude
Researchers from Finland think they may have found a connection between brain health and people’s attitudes. Frequent pessimists were more likely to eventually get dementia than people who regularly saw the good in situations.
Although scientists aren’t sure of the details yet, they think that the depression caused by cynicism may play a role. If you have a habit of demonstrating a negative attitude too often, coach yourself to think of at least a few things for which you are grateful.
Doing that should reshape your perspective and keep cynicism to a minimum. If you think your negative attitude is edging towards depression, take care of yourself by going to see a counselor or other mental health professional to manage that issue appropriately.
7. Be Liberal With Your Laughter
Data from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology says that people who spend 20 minutes per day laughing boost their brain’s defenses against dementia. What better excuse to browse through the comedy section of your favorite DVD store and bring home a box set of a beloved sitcom?
Laughing reduces the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can negatively impact brain health, among other things. If you notice you haven’t had many excuses to laugh lately, consider heading to a local comedy club with friends. The combination of being with people you care about and laughing while in their presence could be truly therapeutic, not to mention, fun.
Hopefully these seven tips make you feel confident that you can take control of your brain’s health and reduce the chances you’ll suffer from cognitive decline later in life. Remember, regular check-ups can also help you age healthily and gracefully by potentially uncovering problems that could greatly affect your well-being.
If you have genuine concerns about your brain’s health due to sudden, worrisome changes, bring those up with a doctor as soon as possible.