“Use them or lose them,” there’s more than one brain function you need to tap into on a regular basis, to keep your cognitive skills alive and well. Things like, attention, memory, processing speed and creativity all require consistent practice.
Used to be that scientists thought adult brains were “set in stone” rigid and unchanging. The new paradigm is definitely more hopeful. Researchers discovered that adult brains stay plastic, changing, growing, rewiring and adapting to new stimuli well into old age.
The term “neural nurseries” describes the birth of multitudes of neurons, everyday. If they are stimulated they thrive and grow, if not, they die.
Epigenetics, or the modification of how your genes express, can influence how well your brain flourishes. You have control over your lifestyle, the habits and company you keep, the things you eat, and drink and how you spend your time.
Here are 9 easy ways to build a brighter brain:
Exercise and improving your physical fitness, enhances brain function by increasing blood supply and growth hormone, as well as testosterone.
High quality sleep, the kind where you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day, is important for brain detox.
Mental stimulation and spending time in enriched environments help neurons integrate, especially in the hippocampus. Learn to play a musical instrument, speak a foreign language, take a course, anything to expose your brain to new learning modes will stimulate growth.
Meditation increases brain density, diminishes stress and may increase melatonin, the hormone that helps manage your circadian rhythms.
A healthy, well balanced diet that minimizes sugar and incorporates pure, clean Omega 3s, eliminates processed foods and adds lots of colorful fruits and vegetables is important for neurogenesis as well as overall mood.
Do not smoke. If you do, quit. Your brain is a needy organ, taking up 50% of the oxygen transported by your blood. Anything that impedes this, will “hurt your head”.
Monitor your TV watching. It’s the only leisure pastime that has been associated with diminishing brain function.
Keep up your social connections. Man is a social animal, thriving on human interactions. Loneliness and isolation are critical health risks, especially in the elderly, and may impact brain deterioration.
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