We all want to stay sharp and focused, but especially as we age, the brain can start to feel like a set of rusted gears, instead of the super computer it was meant to be. Here are five daily activities you can participate in to make sure you stay witty and bright, and boost your brain power.
It may not come to mind that exercise would be an answer to your mental fitness, but moving your body is just as important to your brain as to your other muscles.
Even 20 minutes of moderate exercise increases the oxygen to your brain while building better neuroplasticity, helping your body to build new brain cells, and supporting the release of feel-good chemicals that help us think on our feet.
Bike, swim, walk, dance, garden. It doesn’t matter. Your brain needs exercise just as much as your body does.
Memorize a Poem
Even memorizing your to-do list can help keep you mentally sharp, but memorizing your favorite poem will boost your brain health, all while giving you something impressive to share with friends at the next dinner party or gathering you attend.
Rote learning improves neural plasticity, but the key is to keep yourself challenged with new tasks. Did you already memorize some T.S. Eliot? How about learning a new piano concerto?
Do Sudoko or Other Puzzles
There are literally thousands of puzzles and games meant for the young and old, which will help keep your brain in tip-top shape.
The psychologists Sternberg and Davidson have argued that solving puzzles entails the ability to compare hidden information in a puzzle with information already in your memory, and, more importantly, the ability to combine the information to form novel information and ideas. Therefore, puzzle and game playing allows your brain to come up with new and interesting ways to solve life’s real conundrums, too.
Pick Up a New Hobby
Our brains were meant to learn for a lifetime. That adage – “use it or lose it” – really is true. Whenever we learn something new, from knitting to riding a bike or learning a new dance step, our brains respond by building new neural pathways. Those same neural pathways can help us with everyday tasks, too, though – like tying our shoes or remembering where we parked the car. Don’t listen to the advice that “old dogs can’t learn new tricks.” The very opposite is true, and your brain health depends on you learning as long as you are alive, so do try something new!
Use Fresh Turmeric
An aging brain (and even younger ones) can become chronically inflamed due to our diet and lifestyle. This causes the brain to stop functioning as it should, and is in fact, one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Turmeric is a miracle herb, because it contains curcumins which are known to boost brain health, and keep us healthy and happy.
Curcumins are thought to work by regulating two important neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin. These not only keep us “smart,” but also boost our mood, too.
Add fresh turmeric root to recipes when you are cooking or try a supplement.
Any time you try something new, get moving, or increase the phytonutrients (vitamins and minerals) in your diet, you’re going to improve your brain power. Try a new hobby. Play a game with your grandkids, or take a long walk. Do all three, and you might even win the next Pulitzer Prize.
Christina L Sarich
She is an experienced and lascivious linguist of the English dialect (American English). She has written over a million words for online health and wellness related forums, blogs, and magazines. She has been featured on sites like Natural Society and InfoWars. She has also been a staff writer for numerous sites, including NationofChange, WakingTimes, MindUnleashed, UndergroundReporter, and NaturalSociety.
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