5 Ways to Help Your Aging Brain

5 Ways to Help Your Aging Brain
September 18 08:51 2017 Print This Article

As you age, it becomes increasingly important for you to pay attention to your brain health. If you neglect your brain health, you may find that your mental functioning greatly deteriorates, worsening over time.

Doing activities that can nurture these important functions of the brain is key to maintaining and improving the functioning of your attention, memory, and learning. Besides exercising, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and eating a healthy and balanced diet, there are other activities that can help keep your brain sharp as you age.

  1. Play an instrument

Learning to play any musical instrument can help strengthen the function of your brain in multiple ways. Trained musicians have learned to process multiple stimuli at once. In the process of learning an instrument, as you grow your skill set, you also learn to more effectively integrate information incoming from all your senses, including sight, taste, sound, touch, and smell. Your ability to adapt to situations improves given this enhanced ability to integrate multi-sensory information.

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  1. Learn a foreign language

After your twenties, your brain is finished with its major changes. Although your brain is less plastic in your thirties and beyond, this is no excuse not to try and learn a foreign language.

Studies have shown that people who know more than one language are better at multitasking and are able to better focus their attention on the tasks at-hand. Since your brain is less plastic as you grow older, that is, it takes more work to change its structure, the sooner you start learning, the better.

  1. Read with focused attention

Reading can keep your mind sharp as you age. Reading a larger quantity of material isn’t always better when it comes to improving your brain health. Try to read less and pay more focused attention to these fewer materials.  This will allow your brain to retain more of the information you read, which will improve the overall learning of the material.

  1. Manage your stress

Figure out a way that works for you to effectively cope with your stress. Unmanaged stress can seriously age the brain, quickly deteriorating your mental functioning by worsening your attention and memory.

There are plenty of ways to deal with stress. Writing about it is particularly good, as it allows you to work through your stressors. Playing an instrument, knitting or crocheting, meditating and exercising are all great choices in keeping your stress levels low.

  1. Push yourself to your limits

Whatever activity you are doing, whether it is exercising or learning something new, be sure to continually challenge yourself. If you aren’t challenging yourself, then you aren’t growing. To reap the benefits, be sure to keep challenging yourself in whatever activity you do, whether it be going that extra mile, or doing increasingly hard crossword puzzles.

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Ralph Ducksworth
Ralph Ducksworth

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