Physical health is not the only aspect of our bodies we must take care of to enjoy a good quality of life. Our brain must also exercise as it helps to minimize cognitive decline as we age. However, how to keep your brain in shape, read on and find out!
Exercising should be a priority for everyone. Physical activity helps us have a better quality of life, feel more energetic, free ourselves from stress, and be healthier, to mention only a few benefits. However, most people forget that we must pay equal attention to the brain, an organ that also requires exercise to prevent brain deterioration associated with ageing.
Exercise the mind to keep the brain active
We all want to live for a long time but with the best possible quality of life. Exercising our mind is essential to achieve this and prevent the cognitive deterioration associated with ageing and is responsible for neurodegenerative diseases such as senile dementia or Alzheimer's. It means, the more we have exercised the brain, the greater the cognitive reserve we will have, that is, the more significant number of brain connections created to deal with cognitive decline. Hence the vital importance of staying mentally active throughout our lives.
How can we exercise our minds?
According to information from the United Nations, nearly one in six of the world's population suffers from neurological disorders, and around 6.8 million die from this class of diseases every year. Hence, it is imperative to keep your brain in shape to avoid these conditions as much as possible.
Training the brain to keep it strong and healthy requires simple activities that we can carry out every day. But do not forget that as we learn routines, they become automatic, so they demand less and less from the brain. It is crucial to learn something new, something that requires the mind to establish new neural networks and keep the already known ones active.
Here is a list of activities you can do to keep your brain as active and healthy as possible.
- Read, read and read.
No matter what you like to read, it can be from a romance novel to a science fiction book. Few activities stimulate the brain more than a good reading session. The reasons? This practice increases concentration, reduces stress, improves cognitive reserve, and strengthens neural connections.
- Be positive first and foremost.
Sometimes it is complicated to remain equanimous in adverse situations. However, being positive brings significant benefits to our health because it maintains an ideal level of endorphins in our brain. A low level of endorphins brings with it a depressed mood, affects our immune system, and increases stress.
- Physical activities
Aerobic physical exercise, which involves breathing, benefits brain capacities. The benefit of sport on cognition has a physiological explanation, and it is that it favours the production of neurotrophic agents.
Neurotrophic substances cause synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis, and vascularization of the brain to increase. In addition, it reduces the loss of brain volume in old age, especially in the hippocampus, the part involved in memory and learning. To achieve these benefits, we must try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
- Learn languages
Language is one of the more complex higher functions that involve more areas of the cerebral cortex. Innately, humans can learn languages, especially in childhood, since the brain is more open and easier to mould than ever. However, we can learn languages throughout life. Learning a new language is a good form of mental training.
- A healthy diet.
A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and lots and lots of water will be excellent for your brain. The Mediterranean diet is ideal for this and it is low in saturated fat and sugar. Not for nothing is it considered the best diet of 2021.
- Exercise the mind
Some activities do not require a lot of effort but are very effective in keeping the mind active. For example, when you go to the supermarket, mentally calculate the total cost of what you will pay to train your memory. Also, try to memorize phone numbers, full names, and important dates.
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