Many of you might not know that your brain volume decreases in size as we grow older. The memory areas in the brain shrink due to this, and we slowly start forgetting things which we otherwise used to remember quite well. This cognitive decline, which mainly occurs in old age, is known as Dementia, or more commonly 'forgetfulness.'
There is much truth in the fact that a lot of people give attention to their physical well being only. Nobody is bothered about what goes inside their minds day in and day out. If our mental faculty is not working well, it will slowly manifest in our physical health as well.
The good news is that there are several ways to boost your brain's reserves and prevent the risk of losing your memory. It is achieved by adopting some relatively easy habits into your lifestyle. Let us try to understand each one of those now,
Learn Something New
Learning new things is extremely good for the brain. As per the CCSU Business and Development, learning a new skill increases the density of the white matter of the brain that improves the performance on a wide range of tasks. Additionally, practising a new thing stimulates neurons in the brain, which lets the formation of more neurons. It allows the electric impulses to travel across these neurons, making you learn things better.
Try learning a new language as it challenges the brain in many ways, helping you to stave off the risk of Dementia as well.
It should not come as a surprise as in a healthy body lies a healthy mind. Physical exercise helps in increasing the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF), a protein that stimulates the growth of new neurons and helps existing neurons stay alive. This is key for quick learning and higher thinking.
Techniques like Yoga and Tai-chi also enable you to practice coordination, the flow of movement, and the involvement of different muscle groups. Even moderate exercise, like walking and cycling for a mere 30 minutes a day, get the blood flowing to your head.
Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Studies have shown that eating antioxidant-rich foods can reverse symptoms of ageing, such as memory loss. Antioxidants help in reducing cellular stress and inflammation, which are associated with brain ageing and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's Disease.
Some of the foods rich in antioxidants are Oily fish, Berries, Nuts, Eggs, and Avocados. Fruits like Oranges, Red Grapes, and Strawberries also give you the necessary antioxidants you need.
Get Quality Sleep
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep daily is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Sleep is vital for both body and mind to function at their optimal level. No sleep-deprived person can focus attention or learn efficiently.
If you have trouble sleeping lately, find out the exact reason for it. Stop using gadgets like smartphones and tablets two hours before you doze off. The reason for this is that these gadgets emit blue light, which delays the release of melatonin, a natural hormone essential for having a quality sleep.
Stop Smoking and Drinking
Tobacco smoking is known to cause chemical changes, oxidative stress, and inflammation in the human brain. Excessive consumption of alcohol has also shown similar effects.
Shockingly, few studies have now examined the combined effect of smoking and alcohol on the brain. A research conducted on rats showed how the joint use of alcohol and tobacco increased the neural damage in particular brain regions.
It is hence essential 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,gadgets like electronic cigarettes can be of great help. As for drinking, you can stay clear of people and places that remind you of drinking. Avoiding triggers is key to beat this addiction.
When we socialize, the blood circulates to different parts of the brain as we are constantly listening and formulating responses. This plays a key role in keeping mental disorders like anxiety and depression at bay. Normal brain function depends on the social web around us, and our neurons require other people to survive and thrive. Instead of scrolling on Facebook and binging on that web series, you must try to go out and interact with people.
Go to the nearby park and engage in sports activities like Badminton or Cricket. You shall not only boost your mental health but your physical fitness too.
These simple lifestyle habits can tremendously help a person to keep their brain healthy and sharp. One needs a little bit of patience and willpower to implement them. Improve your learning curve daily, and you shall see remarkable effects.
Lynda Arbon is a passionate and enthusiastic health blogger. She likes keeping herself updated on health trends and blogs. Her favourite pastime is learning history and solving crossword puzzles. Follow her on Twitter.
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