Much in the same way that our bodies succumb to age, our brains atrophy and alter over time too. Over the years, your brain’s ability to withstand neurological damage caused by aging, slows down which makes it much more challenging to perform tasks that require memory and use of your cognitive reserve.
While this can be a daunting thing to hear, the good news is that there are a few exercises that are sure to put some fuel in your thinking cap.
- Incorporate music into your life. You’re never too old to learn something new and that old saying is especially true when it comes to taking up a musical instrument or joining a choir. According to studies, the aging mind is greatly benefited when it focuses on learning something complex and new over a long period of time.
- Use words for memory. Make a game by visualizing the spelling of a word in your head, then try to think of other words that start and end with the same letter as that particular word. Set a goal of doing this a few times a day.
- Make a list and check it twice. About an hour after you make a grocery or a task list, try to recall all the items on the list without looking at it. If you really want to take it up a notch, put hard-to-remember items on the list and exercise that brain until you can recall them.
- Work out some equations. Without using a pencil and paper, try to solve math problems in your head, and if you want to put a physical spin on it, try walking at the same time.
- Learn a language. When you repeatedly practice new words and sounds of a foreign language, the action of listening and hearing naturally stimulates the brain.
So, while you are exercising your muscles, be sure to make time to exercise your brain if you want to stay spry. Spending time with grandchildren is another great way to keep your brain going strong, as the little ones have a tendency to keep you on your toes and keep you answering some of life’s tough questions. Why not help out with homework and watch both you and your grandbabes’ brain cells grow in size. Our brains want to learn new things and they don’t benefit from boredom, so maybe it’s time to take a new way home or switch up your daily routine. If you get stuck in a rut it’s not good for anyone.
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