Mind-boosting habits to keep your brain in shape

Mind-boosting habits to keep your brain in shape

It's well known that regular physical exercise and healthy eating habits are imperative to keeping your body in tip-top condition as you age. But what are some ways you can keep your mind as sharp as you get older?

Just as age takes its toll on your skin, bones and muscles, it also has an effect on your cognitive abilities, including memory, reasoning and thinking skills. And just as physical exercise keeps your body fit, mental exercises can help your brain fight back against the tolls of time.

Here are some memory exercises that can benefit your cognitive function, no matter your age.

Exercise. Working out doesn't just help you stay physically fit. Exercising for 30-60 minutes several times a week may maintain healthy thinking, reasoning and learning skills. Regular workouts may also help stave off the approach of Alzheimer’s for those who are at risk for the disease, and it may improve cognitive ability in patients with Alzheimer's. Exercise positively impacts the brain by maintaining blood flow, producing chemicals that protect the brain and fighting against the natural reduction in brain connections that aging causes.

Be social. Depression and stress are two major culprits of memory loss. Socialization can keep them both at bay. So whether you're in college or in retirement, learn to put yourself out there! Make friends, connect with family and develop bonds with people that will support you throughout your life.

Relive your day. Try this mental exercise tonight and see how well you do. As you go to sleep, go over your day in your mind from start to finish. Don't skip anything. You'll be tempted to remember the day in large swaths of time, but do your best break down your day as much as possible. If you do this every night, it will provide a number of benefits. Over time, it will improve your memory. Your visualization, concentration and observational skills will get better. You'll be more present throughout the day, because you'll know you'll want to remember it later. And lastly, you'll fall asleep faster due to the mental exertion the exercise requires.

If you've tried these exercises but are still concerned about your memory loss, consult your physician.

Posted: 6/24/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: Brain, Exercise, Memory, Social

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