Are you forgetting those minor day-to-day details more often? Did you lock the front door? Is the oven turned off? Is the Great British Bake Off on tonight? Don’t let the feeling niggle away at you, a degree of cognitive decline is inevitable and natural as we age, but it’s not as bad as you think and we can even partially prevent the process. Take a look why:
Information flows through our brain via synapses. These are what give us our ability to process information, recollect memories and pretty much all cognitive function. The brain is adaptive, and any synapse we don’t need (aren’t regularly undergoing transmission) are destroyed. The trick to keeping a youthful brain now becomes clearer, stimulate the brain in order to preserve the synapses that are being destroyed. Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich remarks, “the brain is constructed for change… anything remotely engaging is greatly rewarding”. Meaning regularly stimulating and engaging the brain will encourage new neural pathways to form, ensuring cognitive function stays sharp and combating this natural decline.
How To Keep Your Brain Active
Try out colouring in! It’s not only therapeutic and combats stress but stimulates the brain areas related to creativity and motor skills. Join the trend and purchase a grown-ups colouring book. If this isn’t for you, delve into a piece of literature, learn a language, write that screenplay you’ve always wanted to, find something that challenges you and your brain will adapt!
But staying mentally active isn’t all you can do. Exercise improves concentration, strengthens synapses and reduces stress, enhances mood. It also pumps blood to the brain, encouraging the growth of new cells.
A combination of aerobic exercise and weight training is one of the best ways to maintain a youthful and sharp mind. There is significant evidence exercise stalls cognitive decline and it’s never too late to start gaining the benefits! Exercise increases brain functionality at all stages of life.
Keep a clean and nutritionally dense diet in conjunction with this exercise and you’ll be good to go! Problems synonymous with poor diet include; obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure to name a few and are taxing on the brain. A healthy body really is a healthy mind! Increase your prospects of a sharp and youthful brain by combating the decline that comes with age and looking after your body.