If you’re looking to stay sharp for years to come, it’s essential to exercise your brain. Like every other organ in your body, maintaining brain health is a process. You wouldn’t eat a salad one time to lose weight or skip the saturated fats for one week to keep a healthy heart.
There are games you can play to improve short-term memory, and you can learn how gut health is connected to your brain activity, but you shouldn’t stop there. Use these five practices regularly to keep your brain health in top shape.
1. Keep Learning New Skills
Experts say that learning new skills as the years go by promotes brain health. The process impacts myelin, the white matter in your brain composed of a fatty substance. As you learn new skills, the myelin in your brain increases in density, promoting the ability to continue learning. Myelin protects nerves and neurons in your brain, so the better condition it’s in, the better your brain will function.
2. Get Artsy
Painting, drawing, and playing with clay aren’t just for kids. The act of creating something artistic stimulates brain activity, may prevent memory loss, and strengthen cognitive function according to experts. You don’t have to be Picasso. Try buying an adult coloring book and working on it little by little on the weekends, or take up a pottery class.
If you’re more of a left-brained person, try these exercises to stimulate the right side of your brain.
3. Pay Attention to Your Posture
You probably don’t associate posture with brain health, but research states that the two may be related. When you maintain good posture, it promotes adequate healthy blood flow throughout your entire body, including your brain.
Additionally, when you slump over, you put pressure on your lungs, decreasing their air capacity. Oxygen is another essential form of brain food. Without blood and oxygen, your brain can’t survive. To keep a healthy brain, make sure you’re maintaining a healthy posture to function at your best.
4. Listen to Music
Research shows that listening to music can improve levels of alertness while stimulating the brain. It also turns out that listening to new music you’ve never heard before might be even better for brain health.
Experts describe the process of listening to music as being similar to computing a math problem. Your brain has to work to figure out how the notes connect and how the songs progress. When you play a song you’ve never listened to before, your brain is challenged even further to make sense of the new information.
Additionally, listening to music can help improve mood, lower blood pressure, promote healthy sleep, and improve memory. There’s an entire science behind why some songs and sounds make us feel better than others.
5. Complete Puzzles
While crossword puzzles are a common choice when it comes to maintaining brain health, any puzzle presents an opportunity for your brain to solve a problem, giving it a workout. One study found that regularly completing crossword puzzles helped stop memory decline and delayed the progression of dementia. Check out these puzzles that are GR8 for brain health.
Exercise Your Brain Daily
The key to maintaining brain health is to keep exercising the organ daily. It might seem challenging to keep finding new and interesting activities to stay engaged, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve put together an entire month’s worth of brain training exercises to help your mind stay sharp and fresh.