Keeping a clear and keen mind is very important as you age. Studies have shown that challenging your brain with new and difficult activities can help build new brain cells, and to help your brain grow daily. Learning a new skill, exercising daily, even picking up a new language can help stimulate your brain for optimal health. Gotta keep up with those grandkids somehow! We have comprised a list of 5 tips & tricks to keep your mind healthy, and young.
Yes, games. Who says you can’t have fun while keeping your brain on the alert and ready! Games like Jigsaw Puzzles, Sudoku and playing ball are great at engaging different brain systems.
Jigsaw Puzzles: As boring as they may seem, help you to utilize your visual processing system at a high level. Analyzing pieces, looking at different colors, and rotating pieces helps to engage your brain system controlling movement. Try to pick a puzzle with no less than 500 pieces!
Sudoku: Sudoku is a great game to start, especially if you love numbers! In Sudoku you have to memorize patterns of numbers, which helps to engage your logical problem-solving skills. Another great thing about Sudoku is that you can pick it up and play it anywhere! While you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, on a long car ride, or even if you just need a little mental break from the day!
Playing Ball: Playing ball might sound silly, but it reaps great benefits! It’s as simple as throwing the ball up and down for five minutes; who knows you might even pick up juggling! Throwing a ball helps you to utilize your tactile and hand-eye coordination responses.
We’ve all heard how important exercise is for us time and time again, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT. You don’t have to run 5 miles everyday or lift a crazy amount of weights. Anything that gets you up and moving will do! Get a group together and take a walk around the park! Riding a bike, or swimming is easy exercises to pick up to get you moving and improve your memory. Research has shown that exercise helps improve your hippocampus (this part of your brain is responsible for long-term memory; remembering people, locations, and objects.) Alzheimer’s Disease has very significant damage on this part of your brain. Stay moving, stay engaged!
- Eating Right:
Your brain needs more than just mind exercises it needs brain food! Fish has proven to be a great source to improve your cognitive functions. Try to incorporate Salmon, and other fatty fish into your diet. Avoid fish that are high in mercury. Dark Chocolate. That’s right chocolate; who knew it could be healthy for you! When eating chocolate it produces a chemical in your brain called dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that aids in happiness. Create a diet with the base of it being fish, nuts, and a decent amount of vegetables. Starting a new diet may not always be easy, but the benefits are long-lasting.
- Start a New Hobby:
Is there an activity that you’ve always wanted to try? What’s stopping you! Learn to ballroom dance, scrapbook, play an instrument! Any hobby you can think of help to keep your brain cells healthy and keeps you from getting those fuzzy memories. Hobbies help to maintain communication pathways from and promote clear thinking! That paintbrush is calling your name, it’s never too late to try something new!
- Stay Social:
Make sure to get out there and socialize regularly with others.You could join a club, volunteer, or even start a part-time job. Socializing with others can keep depression and stress at bay which can attribute to memory loss. It helps to give your brain a boost!
Physical health is just as important as mental health. Try to challenge yourself with something new everyday to keep your mind sharp. Keeping your brain agile now will help you greatly down the road.