6 Fun Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp

We all have times when we walk into a room and forget why. Or we misplace keys or glasses, only to find them in a random spot. While moments like these are often described as “senior moments,” memory lapses can occur at any age.

The good news is, even as we age our brain continues to develop new neurons and new neuronal connections, keeping memory loss at bay. You can play an active role in keeping these connections going – and your mind sharp – with these activities:

 

      1. Move your body. Yes, physical exercise has a direct effect on brain health! Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering nutrients the brain needs to carry out its job. Exercise also reduces inflammation, reduces insulin resistance, and promotes neuroplasticity, in other words, your ability to learn throughout your life.
      1. Read a book. Reading has many benefits: it can help make you smarter, it can improve your ability to empathize with others, and can increase your brainpower. As we age, we begin to lose memory and brain function. The good news is, research suggests that regular reading may help slow this process. The result? Your mind stays sharper longer.

 

      1. Do puzzles. Puzzles are a great brain workout because they activate both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The right brain manages more visual‐spatial skills and creative abilities, while the left brain focuses more on logic and problem-solving. That means when you’re piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, you’re getting a whole brain workout!

 

      1. Play a card game. Similar to puzzles, card games use both the logical and creative sides of the brain. Additionally, card games can help improve memory and thinking skills. Whether you play solitaire or a card game with others, the benefits can’t be denied.

 

      1. Learn a new skill. Your brain is capable of learning new skills, no matter your age. Research shows that learning keeps brain cells working at optimum levels and can help protect against brain-related illnesses like dementia. Even better? The more you learn, the more effective you will become at picking up other new things. It’s never too late to learn a new language, start playing an instrument, or learn how to use a new computer program.
      1. Get social. That’s right, talking with a neighbor or meeting with friends is good for our minds and spirits! Research has shown that social contact can help improve memory formation and recall, and protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

 

Remember, the brain continues to create new neural pathways even as we age, so we can always learn new information. By exercising our brains with reading, game playing, and even physical movement, we can say “goodbye” to senior moments and “hello” to a strong memory.

 

Resources:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/exercise-and-brain-health/

https://www.opensesame.com/site/blog/benefits-learning-later-life/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

https://lifesciences.byu.edu/how-exercise-affects-your-brain

https://www.progresslifeline.org.uk/news/the-benefit-of-puzzles-for-the-brain

https://www.rd.com/article/what-happens-to-your-brain-when-do-a-puzzle/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321019#Social-motivation-and-brain-power

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/3-ways-to-build-brain-boosting-social-connections-202109082585

 

 

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