How to Keep Your Brain Fit
Follow these tips to keep your brain as young as possible:
1. Exercise your body
Research shows that exercise:
- Helps the brain grow new brain cells (neurons). Exercise appears to slow age-related brain shrinkage and maintain the cognitive abilities that diminish with age. Studies suggest that this is because regular exercise helps spur the growth of new neurons.
- Helps prevent stroke and some forms of dementia. Exercise helps lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure damages the arteries that supply blood to the brain, which in turn can cause stroke, trouble with understanding and memory, and dementia as you get older.
You don’t need to take up marathon running –– simply taking a walk every day can help you build a better brain.
2. Exercise your brain
If you want to stay sharp, use your brain now, and don’t stop. The latest research shows that exercising your brain throughout your life slows mental decline in old age. Keeping your brain active appears to protect the connections among brain cells, and may even help you grow new cells.
3. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet will help keep your brain healthy, and help your heart, too. Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and cold-water fish like wild salmon.
Choose healthy fats that come from plants –– polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil –– instead of saturated fats that come such foods as cheese.
Consider adding these brain-healthy foods to your menu:
- Wild salmon
- Nuts and seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Colorful vegetables
- Dark chocolate
Humans are wired to be social –– even those of us who are naturally introverts. We’re learning that new experiences and new friends –– and old friends –– do more than enrich your life.