Are you doomed to slower reflexes and poor memory as you age?
Science doesn’t seem to think so…
Every person’s brain, like their body, is uniquely different. Not everyone is subject to the slowing down of mental faculties that tends to come with aging.
The Benefits of Brain Exercises
Like every muscle, the brain needs stimulation and exercise to sustain its function. Exercising the brain has as many benefits much like exercising the body: You’ll be able to remember things later on in life, you won’t forget as many details about other people, and you won’t have as many “senior moments” as perhaps you may fear.
But brain training isn’t limited to those who are approaching their golden years. Experiments with multiple sclerosis patients with cognitive damage have shown that doing activities specifically tied to brain training can help the brain develop stronger connections. Their brains literally became stronger through the power of exercise. There’s also a suggestion that doing brain exercises early in life can expand your amount of cognitive reserve (i.e. how much your brain can bounce back as you age) for later.
Some Brain Exercises You Can Complete On Your Own
Not all brain exercises need a machine or website to provide benefits to their users. Lumosity and NeuroNation have become popular in recent years, and have proven very popular. But these activities still help give your brain a boost:
What’s the last full book you read? The more you stimulate your brain by learning, the harder and longer your brain will be able to work.
2. Protecting your head
Wear a helmet if you must! Make sure to avoid blows to the head as this endangers your brain health more than anything else.
3. Stay in touch with friends
Maintaining social ties is extremely important. Having people around to talk to and challenge you keeps your brain working in a way that it wouldn’t ever work when you’re by yourself.
4. Talk about problems
Holding on to problems is much more troublesome to your health than just annoying you in the moment. It can lead to serious stress, and can even impair your brain’s abilities later on in life. So, if you’re feeling depressed or have a problem you want to address, bring it up sooner rather than later. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and potential harm to your brain.
5. Try new things
Force your brain to be creative, whether by building something in your backyard or playing a game of squash for the first time. It’ll do your brain good to do something new!
6. Quit smoking
This decision benefits many different parts of your body, but the fact that your brain will potentially reverse deterioration is a very good benefit!
7. Sleep more
Sleep doesn’t just restore your body. Your mind also benefits from having enough time to rest through the night. Check this article out on how to set yourself up for sleep success.
Do you do brain exercises? If so, what have you found benefits you most? Share your story in the comments!