words Al Woods
It’s fair to say that human beings are a curious race because we generally want great results but without having to do much effort to get them.
As adults, we often become a bit stuck in our ways and go about our lives without venturing too far outside our comfort zone. However, an easy and unadventurous lifestyle could be harming arguably the most important part of your body: your brain.
In order to keep our brains healthy and to increase life expectancy, we can do many simple things that help to essentially rewire our heads and improve cognitive functioning as we age. By making a few adjustments to our lifestyle and learning a few new things and even changing our diets, we can improve our brainpower and lead an enriching life. Here’s how.
It’s said that exercising will increase blood flow to the hippocampus, which is a section of the brain responsible for memories. Whether it’s an intense round of aerobics, a game of basketball, or a brisk jog around the block, exercise helps us to recall facts, make new memories clearer, cope with stress better, and improve learning.
Engage more with movies, TV, podcasts, music and books
While it would be a bit too easy just to say “watch more TV,” you can watch shows that make you think, such as nature documentaries. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with some Game of Thrones or Survivor, but the engagement part comes with what you do afterwards. Really try to recall what you just read and saw, and ideally write down your thoughts about the episode/book and even discuss it with someone else. Talking or writing about what you’ve just seen or heard helps to make the memories stick.
While not everyone’s cup of tea, taking certain supplements can assist with increased cognitive functioning and better memory retention. A balanced diet and plenty of sleep notwithstanding, many people report vast improvements after a few weeks of taking supplements. This review on Qualia Mind discusses a week-by-week breakdown of how the effects of supplements changed cognitive functioning. After all, there’s only so many cups of coffee you can drink a day to stay awake!
Broaden your hobby horizons
After working, cooking, and cleaning up after a long day, it’s perfectly natural just to chill on the couch and simply relax. However, the issue comes when this becomes your routine practically every day. Your brain needs new stimulus, and a hobby, whether it be a second language, video game, gardening, an instrument, or even kayaking, helps to create new neurons and reduce cell loss because of aging. Always putting off something you’ve always wanted to do? Start now, because there’s no time like the present.
Puzzles and card games
Although those brain training games on your phone are a bit of fun and distraction for a while, it’s always good to lessen your screen time and engage with real, 3D objects that test your brain. We’re talking crosswords, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, and all sorts of card games like Solitaire. Of course, there are board games like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit with your partner, friends, or family, so try and make puzzles and games a weekly thing and then you’ve always got something new to learn and to use the information in your head you’ve already got!