If you want to stay healthy throughout your life, few things matter more than keeping your brain healthy. Starting in our late twenty’s, the brain stops growing and the aging process begins. Then by our sixties, the brain starts to shrink in size.
Although there’s not much we can do bout the natural aging process, there’s a lot we can do to keep the damage at bay and give our brains a good chance of staying sharp well into old age. A person’s general lifestyle can alter how well their brain performs throughout their lives, even if they’re predisposed for different genetic conditions.
Here are some ways you can keep your mind sharp for years to come.
1. Keep exercising
While most people know the benefits of exercising, over 80% of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. This can have a negative impact on the brain’s ability to think and recall information and memories.
Exercise shouldn’t be something people dread to do, especially when the benefits of exercising are so long. One of the biggest benefits is keeping the brain healthy and at its peak. Aerobic exercise, due to its ability to increase blood supply, is one great way to improve brain performance. A study done by the University of Illinois proved that people who are out of shape and get into better shape have brains that function better.
2. Reduce your inflammation
Inflammation is a big problem when it comes to brain health. Inflammation throughout the body is one of the top reasons for most major diseases, but scientists also now believe inflammation in the brain is a reason for depression.
There are many anti-inflammation supplements out there, such as pterostilbene, that can help reduce neuroinflammation, which is inflammation within the nervous tissue. Eating a diet full of antioxidants not only helps your body but helps your brain as well.
Not all inflammation is a bad thing, sometimes the body uses it to protect an area while it heals. However, long-term inflammation is where problems start to arise. Inflammation can cause brain cell damage, reduce brain function, and can lead to many health complications.
3. Cut down your alcohol use
Drinking an excessive amount is a big reason for dementia. Alcohol impacts the brain as soon as it enters the body, and continuing to drink can alter the brain in a variety of ways. Chronic drinkers also can have diminished brain size.
When possible, reduce the amount of alcohol you consume or substitute a drink with a mocktail.
4. Manage your stress
Chronic stress can impact the brain in a multitude of ways and without learning to manage it, your long-term health can take a toll.
Although you might not notice the damage from stress immediately if it keeps happening you eventually will. Whether it’s foggy brain, losing the ability to recall important information, or simply forgetting things, stress eventually impacts your brain.
5. Keep learning
While scientists used to believe the brain slowed down starting around 30, new research is emerging that shows our brains can speed up if we continue to train it to do so.
You can train your brain through learning a new language, playing games, doing puzzles, taking up a new hobby, or anything else where you need to learn a new skill.