Your brain is central to every life process. Thoughts, memories, behavior, reasoning, mood, movement all depend on your brain. It is therefore important that you do all that you can to slow down brain aging.
Healthy habits that slow down the aging of your brain.
1. Exercise your brain
You probably know that exercise is important to remain agile as we age. Often when we go through life we learn ways to do everyday things. This means that many things become routine and you do them without consciously using your mind. Obviously this is helpful in many situations but can also become a problem.
When you first learn to drive, you learn a routine.. mirror, signal, manoeuvre. Once you have driven for many years these things become second nature and you no longer need to think about them. You may even get to the end of a journey and not remember how many times you stopped at traffic signals on the way.
Your brain is made of a number of different neural pathways, and when things become habits, your brain no longer gets to exercise. You may even joke if you forget something as you age that you are having a “Senior moment” or say “it’s old age”. But your brain is amazing and can create new neural pathways.
Keep your brain stimulated
Your brain has the ability to adapt provided it is stimulated. It is important to stimulate your brain to build and strengthen these neural pathways. Ways to do this include learning new things. These can be purely cerebral like learning a foreign language or can be learning a new way to do a physical action. If you are naturally right handed then try cleaning your teeth while holding the brush in your left hand. Sounds simple? you may be surprised. I broke my right wrist some time ago and found that doing everyday things with the “other” hand is no easy matter.
This is a great reason for setting up a home based business after you retire. Not only can you make money online to fund your retirement but you also keep your brain active. Basically, anything that challenges you and stretches your mind is a great way to exercise it.
2. Exercise your body
When you take physical exercise, it increases blood flow throughout your body, including your brain. Studies have shown that exercise can keep your mind younger. It can be especially helpful to include exercises that require coordination and concentration. Dancing has been shown to be very helpful for this.
3. Eat a healthy diet to slow down brain aging
Studies have shown that when you reduce your calorie consumption as you age, you can reduce brain aging. Aside from not overeating you also want to limit saturated fats and trans fats in your diet. Also reduce your sugar intake. When you ensure that you are eating healthy foods and not consuming the wrong kinds of calories, you can prevent weight gain but also help your brain.
Be sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables of many colors, often referred to as eating the rainbow. This will give you a wide mix of antioxidants that fight free radical damage, which are responsible for aging of your cells. In particular, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are important in reducing the chances of developing age-related brain diseases.
4. Do not smoke
There are all sorts of health benefits and reasons not to smoke. If you are a smoker then find a way to quit. You will gain many health advantages. One of them is reducing the negative effects it has on your brain. Smoking increases the development of atherosclerosis in your blood vessels. One of the places that this build up of plaque occurs is in your brain. This plaque narrows your blood vessels and decreases the amount of oxygen reaching your brain cells.
5. Have regular health check ups
There are many conditions that can affect your brain’s health. High blood pressure can result in mini strokes and cognitive decline. Regular health check ups can detect problems at an early stage when problems may be averted.