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How To Keep Your Brain Healthy As You Get Older

Jul 10, 2008
Being active is healthy as far as the brain is concerned so as you grow older keeping your brain sharp is all a part of living a better life and aging well. Continued learning and healthy eating are activities which challenge your brain and help you to stay at your peak. Managing to finish (or in some cases even attempting to start) a daily crossword puzzle along with learning a hobby or studying a new language provides the form of a continued workout for the brain.

Taking part in activities which require you to think on your feet, evaluate information and come to quick and accurate conclusions will be a great help in keeping your brain healthy as you grow older. You will no doubt discover that some days this takes a little more effort than it did before, but if you carry on stretching your brain muscles your memory will be as good as your cognitive skills.

If you have an interest in maintaining the health of your brain as you approach old age and want your mind to continue to be sharp, then here are some facts you should be aware of.

When you reach your sixties, brain masses shrink a little, some areas more than others such as the frontal lobe, for example. This is the area of the brain which copes with mental abilities and it is also where your memories are stored. Thinning of the brain in the cortex area and a diminishing of white matter are some of the reasons why disorders of the brain occur in the aged. Changes in these areas in particular cause the cognitive processing of decision making and problem solving to slow down and attention span is usually reduced. These will all fade you as you get older, unless of course you follow the advice above and carry on with regular exercise of these areas by creating new memories and taking in new information.

Having said that, aging is not a decline of brain activity. The brain itself grows sharper and stronger the more you use it. For instance, if in your younger days you were an avid reader of books and you continue reading into your old age, you are likely to increase your reading speed and the amount of information you actually take in, because practice really does make perfect. The majority of our abilities improve with time, especially wisdom and skills to help us sort problems. It is worth remembering that other ailments and sicknesses can contribute to a decline in the normal activities of the brain as well.

Something as straightforward as more formal education can stimulate the brain and can even make the brain cell networks stronger in warding off mental function damage. Another thing which has always been known to have positive benefits on the brain and its functioning is physical activity, aerobics for example. This is the best way to get a free flow of oxygen to the brain and definitely helps the brain to work better. Quite simply having the knowledge that what you do makes a difference to your life and believing that you are making a valid contribution to your good health is sometimes the greatest part of allowing your brain to remain active.

You can slow down the parts of the brain prone to degeneration as you get older by making a concerted effort to pay more attention to everything, and to learn and have to focus on new things. Take is steady, stay organized and this way you will be able to concentrate on the tasks you are setting for yourself. Try to remain as stress free as you can so as to avoid the tension which is associated with certain types of lapses of memory. Practice repetition - this is an all time favorite. You will find that those senior moments you have from time to time can be turned into senior memories to be cherished if you carry on exercising your brain on a regular basis. Do whatever it takes to take care of your mental agility and you are sure to be a happy person as you become old aged. When you take a look at others they are either depressed or extremely happy. Make sure you do everything you can to ensure that you are in the latter category.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of My-Personal-Growth.com, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.
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