Cognitive fitness is essential to keep your brain young. As you age, your brain will show signs of decline! Believe it or not, cognitive impairment is real. To help your brain, imbibe a few good practices in your daily routine that support and stimulate it. If you are looking for the best ways to improve brain power, here is all you need to know to increase your mental fitness:
What’s The Best Way To Keep Your Brain Healthy?
Mental stimulation is crucial for improving brain function. Here are four best practices that can help you achieve optimal brain health.
1. Read And Learn As Much As You Can
Activities like reading and learning stimulate brain functions. Reading supposedly has immense health benefits. A study suggests that those who read books have a survival advantage over those who do not since it enhances cognitive abilities. “Deep reading” is an immersive process that improves focus and enables readers to connect the world around them, promote empathy and emotional intelligence, which are strongly linked to longevity.
Studies show that even fiction reading is associated with better social cognition compared to non-fiction reading or no reading at all. You can also try brain training games like puzzles and mathematical exercises that will help build up the brain.
2. Use The Internet Judiciously To Boost Your Brainpower
Did you know that using the internet could be beneficial for your brain? Many cognitive processes are a result of external stimuli rather than being innately driven. Internet-based technologies have a significant impact on our brain functioning and health.
Studies show that the internet has changed our cognitive abilities. It has shifted the way we store and retrieve information, shaping how we value the world around us. The internet has presented before us a myriad of opportunities to learn and alter our neural architecture, particularly neuroplasticity. As a platform, the world wide web has enabled us to learn newer and more complex information, bringing about sustained neurocognitive alterations.
While it may have hijacked our attention and caused a loss of deep focus, researchers believe the internet has also significantly affected our memory capacity. Online searching has shown improvements in white matter integrity that connect the four brain lobes and improved people’s ability to focus on information inaccessible by the internet. In short, the internet acts as a super stimulus that has enhanced and “increased brain activity”.
3. Stay Physically Active To Keep Your Brain Healthy
Exercise has been shown to improve learning and memory in humans. It increases blood flow to your brain. Aerobic activities like swimming, walking, running, and playing certain sports can benefit you tremendously.
An active lifestyle contributes to healthy aging as it delays loss of cognitive function. Good diet and physical activity can significantly affect brain plasticity. Exercise is an antidepressant and increases the resilience of the brain in later life. Physically active individuals perform better in reasoning, vocabulary, and working memory tests than sedentary counterparts. Exercise can also reduce cortisol levels that contribute to stress and release endorphins, often called “happy hormones” that improve overall mood.
4. Eat Healthy To Improve Mental Focus And Cell Activity
Good nutrition can affect cognitive development and emotions. The effect of diet on brain health is well documented to promote mental fitness. Besides providing energy, building muscles, and preventing diseases, food plays a crucial role in maintaining cognitive functions and brain evolution. The feeding habits of humans have historically influenced the progression of human society. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids improves brain functions as it is a good source of dietary Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a vital brain constituent.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and unsaturated fats like olive oil will aid brain health. Food ingestion triggers the brain to release hormones for digestion and promote synaptic activities that assist in learning and memory. Energy metabolism impacts brain plasticity and signaling that ultimately influences mental health.
What Should You Avoid To Keep Your Brain Healthy?
- Manage your stress levels to improve brain performance.
- Improve your sleep quality to help increase your focus and concentration.
- Smoking and drinking may lead to brain injury. Avoid these to slow down the process of brain aging.
- Think positive thoughts. Negative thinking impacts emotional health and overall mental well-being.
- Improve your social relations to ward off depression. Complete isolation can impact your brain health as it may trigger neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s.
To enjoy a good quality of life, you must take good care of your brain and maintain good brain health. It helps to check up on its deterioration stage. The more we exercise our minds, the greater the chances of being mentally active throughout our lives. To keep neurological disorders at bay, it is crucial to keep your brain in shape. How do you train your brain to be mentally fit? Do share with us some activities that have helped keep your brain healthy and agile!