We gain some things with age such as experience and wisdom. However we lose a few things as our age advances. Hair, health and possibly our keen memory. Most people are aware that the exterior portion of the body deteriorates with age and that diet and exercise can counteract that but what about your brain? How do you keep the mind as sharp as a tack?
Researchers are discovering that there are ways to forestall the decline. The secret? Stop taking your gray matter for granted, says P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., chief of biological psychiatry at Duke University’s medical school. He says, “You can add 10 or more years to your brain’s useful life just by paying some attention to it”.
Here are a few boost brain boosting ideas:
1. Move it like you mean it!
Activities that require coordination and organization to planning and judgment provide a lot of brain stimulation. Dancing and martial art are two great examples.
2. Get your butt in the gym.
Yup!! It increases your ability to learn and sparks the production of more neurons. So much for old stereotypes. Building the body, builds the brain!
3. Eat (and drink) for Health
This is true for the bod and the brain. B vitamins enable nerve cells to burn glucose, your brain’s major energy source, antioxidants protect neurons against damage, omega-3 fatty acids keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed. So enjoy your fresh fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. While you’re at it, try to avoid the dreaded duo, trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup which damage cells, destroy their ability to communicate with each other and can shrink the brain.
4. De-stress and bust a gut, so to speak 😉
Laughter. Researchers at Loma Linda University say that anticipating a good laugh can decrease stress chemicals like cortisol and epinephrine. Also, laughter causes an increase in circulation and vasodilation. This creates better blood flow which is good for the body and the brain.
5. Sleep well
According to the Harvard Medical School, sleep helps memories lodge themselves in your brain. “Science shows that people who sleep for seven hours exhibit significantly more brain activity than those who don’t,” says Dr. Amen and we say amen to that alright!
So eat, sleep, dance, drink, and train your way to a healthier brain.
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