Everyone knows that the human body needs good nutrition and exercise to keep it strong and healthy. We can actually build muscles and tone our bodies with diet and exercise, but did you know that the human brain can be strengthened and toned too?
The less we use our muscles, the more they deteriorate. The human brain works much the same way – it needs to be constantly challenged, conditioned and fed in order to thrive. Otherwise it too falls into a state of atrophy.
What many don’t realize is that it’s never too late to build up your brain’s ability to think! Keeping your mind active by socializing, reading, engaging in problem-solving puzzles and word games, arts and crafts, and feeding your brain healthy food can actually increase the cognitive reserves in your brain no matter what age you are.
A recent article at Truth About Cancer lists seven ways to keep our minds sharp and clear:
- Continue to Learn and Grow Your Mind
Experts say keeping mentally active, whether through engaging in a new hobby, continuing education, or learning a new skill, helps keep brain cells communicating well with each other.
- Use All Your Senses
The more senses you use in learning something new, the more involved your brain will be in retaining it in your long-term memory.
- Don’t Get Down on Yourself
Positive thinking really does work! Just because we older doesn’t mean our memory is going to fail. Think positively, work hard, and believe in yourself. You’ll achieve so much more that way!
- Simplify Your Life
Spend your mental energy on tasks that require critical thinking − not on trying to find your keys for the umpteenth time. Removing clutter and unimportant distractions from daily life will help maintain brain function.
- Repeat What You Want to Remember
If you find yourself forgetting things all the time, repeat the things you don’t want to slip your mind until they’re stuck in your head.
- Space Out Your Repetitions
For more difficult concepts to remember, try spacing out your repetitions. For example, start at once an hour, then every few hours, then every day, and so on. Practicing this technique helps improve memory as it relates to retaining lots of new information.
- Ever Heard of a Mnemonic?
Piano players learned at an early age how to remember the musical notes E, G, B, D, and F by memorizing “Every Good Boy Does Fine.” Mnemonic devices can help us remember important things like people’s names or lists. Another example of a mnemonic device is an acronym, in which each of the letters spelling out a particular word stand for another word or phrase that starts with that letter.
It’s never too late to start exercising your brain. Find something that interests you or something you’ve always wanted to try but never have. By keeping positive and learning new things you can build brain power and have fun doing it!
Aspen Senior Care is dedicated to improving the lives of seniors in our community! We do this by providing quality in-home care and day center programs, and helping seniors and their families connect with support groups, health services and other resources in the community. If you are in need of assistance or have any questions, please give us a call at 801-224-5910 or visit our website at aspenseniorcare.com. We also have services in Salt Lake County.