UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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When people think about staying fit, they picture sweating it out in the gym. Well, your brain is a muscle, and it needs flexing too. The health of your brain plays a critical role in almost everything you do, making its fitness every bit as valuable as your body’s. It is the controller of your body, your thoughts, your state of mind and ultimately, your life.
Like other parts of your body, your brain may lose some agility as you get older. Luckily there are steps you can take to help keep your brain healthy. Below are some tips that will help you maintain your brain well into your golden years and help to increase your mental agility and cognitive development.
Stay Mentally Active
Mental decline as you age is largely due to altered connections among brain cells. Mentally stimulating activities strengthen your brain cells and the connections between them. Keeping the brain active increases its vitality by building reserves of brain cells, strengthening cell connectivity and even generating new brain cells.
These are a few ways to increase brain activity:
- Read, write and do crosswords or other puzzles
- Attend lectures and plays
- Take classes
- Play card, board or video games
- Do memory exercises
Stay Physically Active
Physical exercise is not only good for the body but also the mind. Exercise helps to maintain blood flow to the brain and encourage new brain cell growth. Aerobic exercise improves oxygen consumption, which benefits brain function and reduces brain cell loss. Another reason to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in each day.
Feed Your Brain
High cholesterol is a huge risk factor when it comes to stroke and brain cell damage. A low fat and low cholesterol diet are what the brain needs. A brain-healthy diet also contains foods rich in antioxidants, which may help protect brain cells, such as fruits and dark vegetables. Read Food For Thought to learn more about a diet that is good for your brain.
Remain Socially Active
People who are regularly engaged in social interaction maintain their brain vitality. Staying connected socially helps you stay connected mentally. People who regularly interact with others maintain their brain function better than those who don’t. Socializing appears to have a protective effect that may help lessen your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Stay socially active through work, volunteer activities, travel, hobbies, family and friends. Be open to new experiences. Being involved with others also helps to reduce stress, boost mood and keep relationships strong. Stay socially engaged in activities that stimulate the mind and body, such as:
- Stay active in the workplace
- Volunteer in community groups and causes
- Join bridge clubs, square dancing clubs or other social groups
- Combine social interaction with physical activity
Exercising your brain power can increase your quality of life. The higher quality life you lead the longer you will want to live. Visit our blog Outlive Your Term Life Insurance Policy: Control Your Weight to learn more about how to lengthen your life expectancy.