Keeping your brain fit, active, and young is essential if you want to be healthy at any age. There is no reason why an older body can’t have a ‘young’ seeming brain within it – and the younger and more active your brain is, the more interesting, fulfilled, and long your own life will be. Here are some great ways to keep your brain as young as possible.
It may seem strange to say that your brain can become healthier when you exercise, just like your body can, but it’s true. The best fitness program to ensure that this happens is a combination of aerobics and weight training. Exercise gets your heart rate up and boosts the flow of blood and oxygen around your body. If you can get more oxygen to your brain, then it will work more quickly and accurately, enhancing its productivity and usefulness. Over time, the connections (called synapses) within our brains start to become loose and eventually fail altogether. Studies show that exercise can slow this process down and perhaps even stop it altogether. As a bonus, working out regularly also helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and a whole range of other diseases and conditions.
As well as plenty of good exercise, making sure we eat the right kinds of food in the right quantities is also important when it comes to keeping our brains youthful. Antioxidants are particularly useful. They help to neutralize the free radicals in our bodies that can cause cancer, but they are also good for our brains too. You can find antioxidants in nuts and spices, beans, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables (the more colorful, the more antioxidants as a rule). Your brain finds it hard to cope with diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which is another reason why eating properly (and reducing the chances of developing these things) is a good idea.
Make Your Brain Work Faster
When we reach the age of around 30, our brains naturally start to slow down. In the past, it was thought that there was nothing that could be done to stop this gradual decline, but recent studies have shown otherwise because now it is known that no matter what your age you can actually train your brain to work faster. The faster it is working, the younger it is, and that has a hugely positive effect on your body and overall health. In order to train the brain, you need to practice regularly and try different puzzles. You can do this in a variety of different ways including completing crosswords, enjoying sudoku puzzles, playing escape the room games, joining in with scavenger hunts or geocaching, and much more. There is sure to be some challenge out there that suits you and helps to exercise and train your brain to be younger and fitter.
No one likes to be told to calm down, and it can even make some people feel more angry and stressed than ever, but it is massively important when it comes to the health of your brain. If you are stressed all the time your brain is also under pressure, and that can age it faster than it should do. If you are calmer, there is much less pressure on your brain and it can stay fitter and more youthful. It is the part of the brain called the hippocampus, where memories are formed, which is most severely affected by chronic stress. This can mean that we are not as productive as we should be in our day to day lives due to forgetting this more often than not. This process can be reversed, however. Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to ‘re-set’ the hippocampus, as is physical exercise in general.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep can make a big difference to the health of your brain. Just think of all the times you were struggling with some problem – anything from calculus to working out how to save money to wondering what car to buy and everything and anything else – and you slept on it. It is likely that the answer to your problem was easier to get to come the morning when you had allowed your brain to rest. If you overwork your brain, it can stop working as it should, leaving you confused and unable to concentrate. The brain is like any muscle in the body; too much work and it will be strained and less use than it should be. That’s also why, just like any muscle, with rest, it can repair itself and be as good as new. Sleeping properly for around seven to eight hours a night is a great start when it comes to ensuring that your brain is working at optimum capacity.
Laughing and having a good time produces more of the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is a messenger, meaning it carries information from one part of the body to another. It is what helps us to move, for example, and to enjoy ourselves. Lack of dopamine can cause fatigue, mood swings, and even memory loss, all of which negatively affect the brain. Therefore, having more dopamine has to be a good thing for the health of the brain. The easiest way to enhance the dopamine levels in your body is to have fun, laugh, generally enjoy yourself as much as possible. The more fun you have, the healthier your brain will be.
Smoking tobacco in any form has a number of negative effects on the body. One of these is that it narrows the veins, restricting blood flow to the essential organs, including the brain. If not enough blood is getting to the brain because it can’t get through the narrow veins then it will become oxygen deprived and it will start to die. Once parts of the brain die, they cannot be repaired. Not only that, but the narrower veins also increase your risk of blood clots and strokes.