Did you know that your brain volume decreases in size as you grow older? Well, it’s a fact. The memory areas in the brain gradually shrink with age and we all slowly start forgetting things which we otherwise used to recall easily. This cognitive decline which mainly occurs in old age is called Dementia, or more commonly ‘forgetfulness’.
Unfortunately, today a lot of people give attention only to their physical well being. Nobody is bothered about what goes inside their mind day in and day out. Rarely do they realise that the issues they are facing mentally, have a profound effect on their physical health as well.
Having said that, there are several ways to boost your brain’s reserves and prevent the risk of losing your memory. This is achieved by inculcating some relatively easy habits into your lifestyle. So here it goes,
Learn Something New
Learning new things is extremely good for the brain. As per the CCSU Business and Development, learning a new skill increases white matter density of the brain which inturn improves creativity as well as efficiency. Also practising something new stimulates neurons in the brain which lets the formation of more neurons.This allows the electric impulses to travel across these neurons, making you grasp things faster.
To boost your brain performance, try learning a new language as it challenges the brain in many ways. Constantly learning new things daily also helps you to stave off the risk of dementia as well.
You all might have heard about the saying that in a healthy body lies a healthy mind. Regular exercise facilitates a healthy blood circulation in the body which keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. Physical exercise also helps in increasing the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF), a protein that stimulates growth of new neurons and helps existing neurons stay alive. This is a mechanism that facilitates quick learning and higher thinking in you.
There are techniques like Yoga and Tai-chi that enable you to practise coordination, flow of movement and involvement of different muscle groups. Even moderate exercise like walking and cycling for a mere 30 minutes a day can get the blood flowing to your head. If you are young, consider lifting weights which plays a key role in maintaining strength and self-esteem.
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Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Studies have shown that eating antioxidant rich foods can reverse symptoms of ageing, such as memory loss, recalling names etc. Antioxidants help in reducing cellular stress and inflammation, which are linked to brain ageing and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer Disease.
Some of the foods rich in antioxidants are Oily fish, Berries, Nuts, Eggs and Avocados. Fruits like Oranges, Red Grapes, Strawberries etc.
Get High Quality Sleep
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep daily is one of the best things which can happen to your brain. Sleep is essential for both body and mind to function at the optimal level. No sleep deprived person can focus attention or learn efficiently, making it tougher for him to execute daily tasks.
If you have trouble sleeping lately, try figuring out the exact reasons for it. Stop using gadgets like smartphones and laptops two hours before you doze off. The reason for this is that these gadgets emit blue-light which hampers the release of melatonin, a natural hormone essential for having quality sleep.
Quit Smoking and Drinking
Tobacco smoking is known to cause chemical changes, oxidative stress and inflammation in the human brain. Excessive consumption of alcohol also causes great harm to most organs of the human body.
Shockingly, few studies have now examined the combined effect of smoking and alcohol on the brain. A research conducted on rats has shown how the joint use of alcohol and tobacco increased the neural damage in specific brain regions.
It is hence important that you cut back on smoking and drinking to maintain excellent brain health. For those of you who can’t go cold turkey on cigarettes, a technique like Nicotine Replacement Therapy would suit best. When it comes to drinking, you can avoid being in the vicinity of people who are habitual drinkers. Remember avoiding triggers is key to beat alcohol addiction.
All in All,
You have just seen 5 simple lifestyle habits that can tremendously help a person to keep their brain healthy and sharp. One just needs a little bit of patience to implement these steps gradually in their lives. Improve your learning curve daily and you shall see remarkable benefits in both your personal and professional life.