We all know that moving can help to keep our joints and muscles in check, but what can we do to boost brainpower? No matter how old you are, there are steps you can take to maintain optimal function and train your brain. Here are some top tips to take on board.
Living an active lifestyle
Exercise is commonly associated with physical health benefits, but it’s also vital for mental health and cognition. Ideally, experts recommend doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This can involve anything from walking, jogging and cycling to trampolining, dancing and playing tennis or golf. When you work out, your heart beats faster, and this increases the speed of oxygen delivery to the muscles and the brain. You should find that you feel better after physical activity and that your strength, endurance and mobility improve as you get fitter. If you’re not used to exercising, introduce low-intensity activities, for example, walking and swimming, and increase the frequency of the workouts steadily. Beginners’ classes are an excellent way to get in shape and meet new people. You can choose from a whole host of options, including yoga, Pilates, ballroom dancing, Zumba, spinning and aqua aerobics. Dancing is particularly beneficial for your brain because it involves learning and memorizing routines and steps.
Stimulating your brain
Stimulating your brain is a fantastic way to preserve and protect your gray matter. The more you use your brain, the lower the risk of losing your memory and the ability to concentrate and focus. Solving problems is a great way to keep your brain young, and you can choose from a raft of board games and puzzles, as well as online games like Text Twist and number-crunching activities and conundrums. Doing puzzles, whether that involves putting a jigsaw together, working out a formula or creating words from a selection of letters, improves focus, memory and cognitive abilities.
Taking on a new hobby
Hobbies are proven to boost mental health, they can facilitate socialization, and they also enable you to learn and develop new skills. If you’re looking to train your brain and broaden your horizons, why not try a new pastime? You could take cooking classes, learn a new language, play a musical instrument or flex your creative skills and take up painting, knitting or origami.
Your diet impacts every aspect of your health. Research suggests that a Mediterranean diet can help to boost cognition, as well as reducing the risk of several life-threatening illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This diet is rich in fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, lean sources of protein and fresh foods. Try and cut down on processed foods, increase your fiber intake and avoid sugary, salty foods.
Many of us prioritize our physical health as we get older, but it’s also important to protect your brain as best you can. Keep your brain busy, look after yourself and improve your brain power by learning new skills, solving puzzles and trying different activities.