Brain Exercises That Keep You Sharp Later in Life
Our bodies go through countless changes as we age. And how you live your life can affect how you age.
Routine exercise has been shown to be a significant factor in determining your risk for developing conditions that typically come with aging. For example, strength training builds your muscles and reduces your risk of osteoporosis. Also, flexibility exercises and stretching help you stay limber as you age.
Much like our muscles, our brain is not resistant to the effects of aging. As you get older, your brain simply doesn't work like it used to. You’re also more at risk for health issues, like memory loss, cognitive impairment and dementia.
Thankfully, you can follow certain habits to help keep your brain strong later on in life. Eat a well-balanced diet that’s low in fat and cholesterol and high in antioxidants. Routine physical activity improves your circulation, which promotes good brain health.
One study showed that a 10-minute period of biking increased activity in the part of the brain that creates new memories and remembers facts and events. Another study found that a single workout session resulted in greater brain activation when done right before a task.
Also much like our muscles, your brain benefits from exercises. Here are some you can try:
- Test your memory – Try to memorize something and see if you can remember it an hour later.
- Learn something new – Studies have shown that learning something new and complex, like a new language, benefits your mind as you get older.
- Practice hand-eye coordination – Pick up a hobby that involves fine motor skills, such as knitting, drawing or doing puzzles.
- Cook something new – Cooking requires the use of many different senses in the brain, like smell, taste and touch.
- Sharpen up your mental math – Try calculating costs and percentages in your head.
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