Reading science magazines or internet articles on the advancement of technology and breakthroughs in medicine you’ll find out we will outlive most of our ancestors. But I’m more concerned about living with a young mind, so I decided to share with you some tips on how to keep your engine running.
For a healthy active brain all experts agree that physical exercise is essential, and by sticking to it, you’ll reap multiple benefits. Our regular physical activity, experts say, increases the gray matter in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is very important to our memory functions. Also, stimulating cardiovascular activity will pump more oxygen to the brain and bring more nutrients for a proper functioning.
Exercise also strengthens blood vessels, thus preventing a series of illnesses that are responsible for cognitive impairment. Alongside with these direct benefits the more you stay physically active, the more you encourage the production of hormones that reduce stress and increase creativity.
Neuroscientists also say that our social activity helps the brain improve its function. Strong social ties have been associated with a longer life-expectancy. It seems that socializing is another form of mental exercise, a form of cognitive reserve for when our mind loses some of its ability. So keep your friends and family close because it seems like that’s where eternal youth stems from.
When you feed your body you also give nutrients to your brain, so another way of staying mentally fit is by having a good diet. That means you have to keep your calories in check. Studies show that reduced caloric intake is often linked to a lower risk of mental decline in old age. And that goes for animals and humans just as well. So take care of how much and what you eat.
It’s good to have fish in your meals because they provide you with a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is usually found in large quantities in the brain. Consumption of saturated fat from animal sources and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are in no way improving your brain health, so you better watch out for them.
Eating grain and all sorts of green leafy vegetables is great for your body and reduces the risk of developing dementia because they have a lot of B vitamins. That’s a great tip I recently stumbled upon! I didn’t know that not eating your cereals could end up that bad.
For a healthy brain, you should also go to bed on time. Lack of sleep will eventually shrink your brain while adults that have plenty of rest can rely on a better memory and mental function.
And, finally, don’t forget to do your brain exercises. Challenging the brain, learning new skills or languages, repeating things you want to remember and prioritizing by discarding useless information is the way to a healthy and active brain.