If you’ve ever had the feeling that you aren’t as sharp as you used to be – perhaps you get frustrated that you can’t put a name to an actor or politician who has been in the news, for instance, or maybe you’re not as quick at mental arithmetic as you were – it might have given you pause for thought about your brain’s fitness and whether it’s all downhill from here.
It’s true that the brain typically finishes developing in our twenties, after which there is a gradual cognitive slowing with age, so it’s good to start thinking about these things early. In short, there’s reason to be optimistic because there are things you can do – lifestyle habits you can adopt – to maintain your brain sharpness and protect yourself from risk of diseases.
Stay mentally active to build your cognitive reserve –
There are many activities you can adopt that are considered to build your cognitive reserve, such as reading, playing musical instruments or singing, completing challenging puzzles, learning a second language and travelling. Put simply, there really is truth to the old adage to “use it or lose it”.
Seek out company and lively conversation when you can – it will give your brain a great work-out and the feelings of belonging will be a boon for your mental health too.
Stay physically active –
Try to build an active lifestyle into your routine. Regular running, cycling, swimming or similar exercise classes will do the trick, but if that’s not your thing, you could try simply walking and taking the stairs
Eat well –
Avoiding too much saturated fat will stop your arteries becoming clogged, and plenty of fruits and green vegetables will provide your body with ample antioxidants that help cleanse the brain of ‘free radicals’ – a kind of harmful by-product of various biological processes.
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