Your mind is a muscle — let’s flex it.
We don’t get strong arms by doing bicep curls once. Our mental strength is the same. Improving our mental fitness requires time, practice, and consistency.
Your muscles get weak when you don’t use them. So does your brain. These 6 lifestyle factors that affect brain function should become part of your routine.
Although it’s not a muscle, the brain benefits from the same healthy habits that keep your body in tip-top shape. Research suggests several lifestyle factors that affect brain function, including regular exercise, intellectual stimulation, and even sound sleep habits, may reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.Let’s understand Train your Brain-Boost Mental Fitness for brain and memory power boost.
We can’t completely stop memory impairment — forgetfulness is a natural part of aging — but we can maintain the brain health we have. If you’re not already adopting these seven lifestyle habits, it’s never too late to start!
Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain. Recent research demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain—making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections.
Sleep is an important factor to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep. Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a critical role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.
3. Seek intellectual stimulation
Your brain needs constant stimulation to stay strong. The reserch says that the brain has a reserve that helps it adapt and respond to change and resist damage. As you learn, perform new activities, and pursue new interests, you improve your brain reserve.
All sorts of activities can up your brain power. The key is to find things that are new and/or mentally challenging.It is the best way to improve memory Many of them can be done virtually if needed! A few suggestions include:
• Play or learn to play chess.
• Take a class. Find something that interests you, whether it’s world history or watercolor painting.
• Earn a degree or certification.
• Play or learn to play a musical instrument.
• Learn a new language.
• Start quilting.
• Dance like no one is watching. • Play bridge.
• Play board games.
• Play memory games.
• Visit an art or science museum.
• Write poems.
4. Maintain social connections.
Among other lifestyle factors that affect brain function, chatting with friends, family, and acquaintances lifts your mood and protects against memory loss. Positive, meaningful social engagement is associated with improved physical and mental health, while isolation is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Research suggests that having close ties to friends and family, and participating in meaningful social activities, may help people maintain their thinking skills better in later life and slow down cognitive decline. People who are socially engaged seem to have a lower risk of dementia. Being social helps in brain power increase .
5. Don’t smoke.
Cigarette smoking is associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Studies found that smokers had a thinner cerebral cortex than non-smokers – in other words, smoking was destroying the grey matter in smokers. This is important because the cerebral cortex is a part of the brain that is crucial for thinking skills including memory and learning, so thicker is better.
The cortex does tend to thin with age naturally but we found that, all else being equal, the more people had smoked, the more they tended to have a thin cortex. These results suggest that smoking accelerates the normal thinning of the cortex that occurs with age
6. Keep your heart healthy.
Brain Health Is Connected to Heart Health. The health of your brain and your heart are connected. By keeping your heart healthy, you also lower your risk for brain problems such as stroke and dementia.