“The brain is like a muscle,” you may have heard. It becomes stronger the more you use it, leading to a stronger outcome. Your brain cells (neurons) will wither and perish if you don’t utilize them. You may, however, build up a good reserve and create new routes.
What follows are activities you may do in your daily life to exercise your brain, feed it, and, in some cases, alter your brain. These behaviors will benefit you now and, hopefully, in the future, since they may aid in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Top 10 Brain Healthy Habits
Now get to know what are the best brain-healthy habits to follow.
1 – Never Underestimate Positive Thinking
When terrible things occur in your life, remind yourself that you will overcome them. In contrast, savor the good fortune that comes your way. Yes, the brain can change, and this is referred to as neuroplasticity. Your brain has actually created entirely new, positive pathways as a result of adopting a happy attitude. Isn’t it fantastic?
Furthermore, New York University study discovered that when individuals participated in positive thinking, the rostral anterior cingulate and the amygdala were active. These areas of the brain are engaged in emotional reactions as well as being impacted by depression. As a result of adopting an optimistic mindset, your emotional reactions will improve, and you will be less likely to suffer from depression.
Another reason that you should never lose hope is that happy thoughts may cause the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that makes you feel good. As a result of those first pleasant thoughts, you end up feeling even better.
2 – Exercise on a Regular Basis
The advantages of exercising to your brain are astounding, and I’ve included a few of the highlights below. According to recent evolutionary ideas, physical exercise makes us smarter. There is research that indicates that individuals’ memory performance improves after they run.
In addition, 2007 Columbia University researchers discovered that working out four times per week boosted neuron formation in the dentate gyrus, a region crucial for memory.
John Ratey has extensively studied the benefits of exercise for the brain and says that in the near term, you will notice a sharpening in your focus for a few hours following exercise. Perhaps a good time to exercise would be in the morning if you struggle to concentrate at work. It may help to avoid Alzheimer’s disease in the long run.
Exercise will increase the number of neuronal fibers, synapses, and capillaries in the body. Duff et al. (2008) discovered that elderly individuals who walked slower did not do as well in cognitive tests as those who walked quicker. Remember to have fun with what you’re doing and to change things up a little to keep your brain awake.
3 – Take up Dancing
A dancer has a lot on his or her mind while dancing. You must make quick choices, pay attention, recall the movements, be aware of your partner, maintain track of your body in space, and be in tune with the beat of the music.
It is not surprising, therefore, that dancing stimulates many different areas of the brain, providing an excellent exercise for both your brain and body. When you dance, your cerebral cortex and hippocampus will activate, and dancing requires intricate brain connections.
Your brain becomes larger and stronger as a result of the development of these new connections, making it more resistant to cognitive difficulties later in life.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examined several leisure activities to decrease the incidence of dementia. There was a 76% lower chance of dementia in people who danced regularly. This risk reduction was higher than that of reading or completing crossword puzzles, both of which are healthy hobbies.
4 – Eat Properly and in Moderation
Maintain a healthy physical and mental state by eating a well-balanced diet rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. However, there are certain foods that are beneficial to the brain. A few examples include turmeric, fruits, vegetables, and proteins like eggs, soy, beans, nuts, and seeds.
There is no doubt that cinnamon, rosemary, and basil can all help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming fruit or vegetable juice may help protect brain cells from harm because they contain high amounts of polyphenols, which are antioxidants.
According to 2006 research conducted by the University of South Florida, individuals who drank such drinks were less likely to acquire Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, such individuals may have valued a healthy lifestyle in general, so it’s not just about the juice.
It also seems that consuming too much may cause brain alterations. Eating too many high-calorie meals (those rich in fat and sugar) may cause the brain to alter, making it more likely for a person to overeat. You can check how many calories are present on the custom boxes of the products you buy for consumption.
Similar changes occur when someone becomes addicted to drugs. Another research found that overeating increases the likelihood of memory loss. People over the age of 70 who like to use between 2143 and 6000 calories per day were twice as likely as those who consumed between 600 and 1525 calories per day to be diagnosed with moderate cognitive impairment. Those who consumed fewer than 2143 calories per day were not in danger. Overeating, it is hypothesized, promotes brain alterations that result in memory difficulties.
5 – Turn off the Television
According to 2005 research published in Brain and Cognition, excessive television viewing may raise your chance of getting Alzheimer’s. The risk increased by 1.3 percent for each extra hour spent viewing television each day. Not only is watching television a passive pastime, but the more time you spend in front of the box, the less time you have for other things that will give your brain a good workout.
6 – Take part in Video Games
If you’re going to sit in front of the TV, you may as well be active while you’re there. Believe it or not, the solution is video games. Of course, in moderation. Researchers have shown that playing video games is beneficial to the brain. According to Bavelier’s study, gamers are more concentrated than non-gamers and are better at monitoring information.
Brain scans revealed that gamers’ brains were more efficient and faster when it comes to paying attention (they can monitor six things at once). The average is 4). Other studies have shown that gamers are more creative, make better decisions, have stronger perceptual abilities, and have better hand-eye coordination. Do I inform my spouse now that I’m a COD widow?
7 – Games and Puzzles
Depending on the kind, puzzles and games stimulate various regions of the brain. Take part in anything that makes you think. Chess, logic puzzles, anagrams, strategy games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Mahjong, jigsaw puzzles, card games, and scrabble are some of the games you may play. Try to perform a variety of things to train various parts of your brain, and gradually raise the difficulty when they get too easy.
Bunge and Mackey assigned students to play board, card, and video games that tested their processing speed or reasoning abilities. After 8 weeks, children who had their reasoning ability taught showed a 32% improvement in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Students who received processing speed training showed a 27 percent improvement in their speed scores.
8 – Discover New Stuff
When you learn anything new, you form new neural connections and strengthen old ones. Learning new things is more than simply attending classes or broadening your knowledge in new areas. It is about adjusting to changes that occur on a daily basis. For example, if your favorite program or social networking app is upgraded, you may grumble about the change.
However, consider your brain for a minute. It is used to the previous method of working and does not need much effort to run the program. Because of the shift, you must actively think again, which leads to the formation of new pathways. You’ve worked your intellect hard. So, the next time you face a difficulty, instead of giving up, decide to conquer it. Not only will you experience a feeling of accomplishment, but your brain will grow as well!
9 – Don’t Consider Intellect to be a Fixed Thing
Dweck and colleagues’ research found that when children were educated to recognize that the brain creates new connections and basically grows via learning, their math grades improved. As adults, it’s tempting to believe that our education and growth are complete.
You’re either excellent at something or you’re not by now. Shake off whatever labels you were given as a kid. Give it a go, commit to acquiring new talent, or confront your Achilles heel. If you’ve chosen to focus on your Achilles heel, bear in mind that there are many ways to learn anything if you’re having difficulty. Give yourself a new route to go.
10 – Get a Book to Read
When it comes to the apparently peaceful pastime of reading, there is a lot to consider. Your brain is kept occupied because you need to remember what you’ve read and been able to recover it as you go through the book.
What was the name of the character mentioned 100 pages ago? In addition to exercising your creativity and imagination, you also make the characters you read a living entity in your mind. This is just fictitious. By perusing the non-fiction section, you may also learn about new topics that you are unfamiliar with. Take the time to read the free Kindle novels you collect.