It is incorrect to say that only seniors may have problems with changes in their brain functions. Changes in the brain that cause a decline in brain functions can happen as early as when you are 30 years of age. This is the time when structural changes of the brain can be seen, starting with the loss of volume of the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus.
Age may have little affectations on some brain functions like verbal and numerical abilities and general knowledge. But starting from middle life, memory, executive functions, reasoning, and processing speed may start declining. This should be the reason for you to know how to improve your brain functions. Here are 9 proven ways to do so:
Getting Into Mental Stimulating Activities
Studies show that mental activities may be able to trigger the growth of new cells and can facilitate connections between existing nerve cells. This means that even with the death of old cells, they can be replaced by new ones. Activities like reading, math problems, crossword puzzles, and sports are mentally stimulating. And do you know that playing computer games is an effective stimulant to the mind too? This makes it not that bad after all to indulge in computer games sometimes.
You should also know that activities that involve your creativity can trigger the mind to function. This may include writing articles, painting, woodcrafts, and more.
Keeping a Physically Fit Body
Keeping your body fit through physical activities like exercises is also good for your brain. This is because it can trigger the increase of blood vessels in your brain. Aside from that, it can also enhance the connections of nerve cells.
Regular exercise also helps you to maintain normal levels of your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, which can prevent hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. All of these conditions can predispose your brain to stress which may interfere with its normal functioning.
Having a Healthy Diet
Some foods are excellent for your brain health. But generally, what is good for the body is also good for the brain. Eat more plant-based foods, like vegetables and fruits. They have nutrients that can help you boost your immune system and delay the degenerative process.
Maintaining Your Normal Blood Pressure
High blood can cause blood clot in the arteries of the brain which can lead to stroke. Blocked arteries can also cause the insufficient blood supply to the brain which can result in dementia. Lifestyle changes, weight loss, regular exercises, and managing stress can help you maintain your regular blood pressure.
Improving Your Blood Sugar
Studies show that vascular and Alzheimer’s dementia are more prevalent in diabetics. This should alert you to take care of your blood sugar levels with regular exercise, correct diet, weight loss, and avoidance of alcohol and tobacco.
Managing Your Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels can lead to a stroke which can result in memory loss and other brain dysfunction. You can lower your cholesterol levels through routine exercises, low fat and low carbs diet, and a healthy lifestyle.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleeplessness can cause the body and brain not to function properly. A person can become irritable and moody and can also demonstrate impairment of memory and judgment. Prolonged lack of sleep can lower immunity which can make the brain more susceptible to an array of health issues.
Avoiding Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol can block signals to the brain which causes slurred speech, impulsive behavior, slowed reflexes, and poor memory. On the other hand, smoking and chewing tobacco is known to cause illnesses, like hypertension, that have adverse effects on the brain.
Managing Stress Efficiently
Stress can do so much damage to the body and brain. By not managing your stress levels, you can fall into depression and anxiety. Exercises, meditation, and socializing can be an effective way to manage stress. Finding time to relax and getting enough quality sleep can rejuvenate a tired mind and body.
Doing the right things for our mental health as young as we are is an investment for a healthy brain during old age. As the brain starts to shrink in volume in middle life, immediate manifestations may not show immediately. But knowing this fact, measures should be done to negate the impact.
As mental and physical exercises can spur new cell growth, diet, boosting our immunity and a healthy lifestyle preventing the brain from stress, these measures should be done earlier in life to provide a hedge against the ill-effects of degeneration that can challenge our brain functions in the future.