Looking to enhance your brain health?
Feeling compelled to get unstuck? Why not look for inspiration for a new creative project, or a way to solve a management problem, or a strategy for increasing sales, but you keep coming up short?
You may be able to get things flowing again with a few daily activities proven to increase brain function. Neuroscientists once believed that brain aging and memory loss happened because neurons died or stopped functioning.
New research has shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine can trigger the formation of new neurons in adult brains. These dopamine neurons move directly to the brain associated with higher brain function and could be the basis of mature wisdom.
Even though we can form new neurons throughout life, our brains still change as we age, as our brain weight and volume decreases. Between the ages of twenty and ninety, the brain loses five to ten percent of its weight. But age isn’t the only contributing factor to brain shrinkage. Our lifestyle most certainly plays a big part. Poor diet, lack of exercise can contribute to cardiovascular disease that reduces blood flow to the brain.
So, how can we stay sharp as we age you ask?
Here are six ways to help improve brain function:
- Exercise your brain. In the age of the internet all sorts of Brain games, puzzles and brainteasers help create and stimulate new associations between different parts of the brain which is imperative for our good health. Most brain exercises could be as easy as changing your dominant hand in certain activities. Trying a new type of game or cross word puzzle. In the end the more effort the better your brain will improve. So get out there and sign up for some fun games!
- Eat brain food. Ah so much can be said for eating well. It is known that eating a good clean diet will always improve your health in all areas. Studies have also shown increasing amount of evidence that certain foods slow mental decline. Good examples are any food high in Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which has been linked to a lower risk of dementia and improved focus and memory.
- Try new things! While taking up a new language or instrument may seem like a huge undertaking, it has been proved to not only maintain brain functionality but increase your adaptability to learning. Increasing your brains capacity to understand, comprehend and process new ideologies keeps you active and able to learn.
- Get out and Volunteer. It has been proved that volunteering can not only lower your stress levels and increase mental functions but it will also force you to mingle with others that will for sure higher your adaptability. As would volunteering usually adds to a person’s well-being and overall health it also gives us a great feeling to help others and raises self-esteem.
- Increase your water intake. A dehydrated body has shown evidence of brain shrinkage, only boasting the importance of drinking water more readily. The overall brain size decreases as we age, but the lack of water or dehydration will impact your brains overall capacity.
- Change up your activities. We are all creatures of habit, but it has been proven to be increasingly important that we vary our activities. Ideally it would be prudent for us to not get stuck in a routine and find ways of varying your schedule from time to time. This keeps the brain engaged, and active. It would also be ideal to change up your exercise something that you have not tried before, or have always wanted to do. Always wanted to cycle? Now’s your time. Looking to jump rope or try Zumba? Go get your gear on and give it a try!
- Be Social! As humans we are social creatures that need a variety of brain stimulation, including social activity, to keep our minds sharp. It is especially true later in life, when aging takes its toll on memory and other complex neurological processes. As most adult’s age, we become less socially active which tends to increase the cognitive and physical declines more so than those who remain active and social. So get out there and mingle!