Why You Need to Exercise Brain
You workout 30 minutes a day, five times a week. You strength train for 20 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You even eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Your body is in great shape! But do you remember to exercise your brain each day? Good cognitive health is essential as we age so we can continue doing activities important to everyday lifeâ€”like cooking dinner and paying our bills. Why does your brain need a workout routine to keep it in shape?
No matter your age, keeping your brain engaged can improve your life right now and down the road. Mental and physical exercise sharpens your cognitive skills and reduces daily stress levels. For the long-term, keeping your mind in top shape may help protect you from future ailments like Alzheimerâ€™s disease and other forms of dementia. The earlier you commit to a brain exercise regimen, the longer youâ€™ll reap the benefits and reduce the risk of mind decline.
Increase Cognitive Ability
Even though you may no longer be in school, itâ€™s wise to keep learning and building social networks. How you think and learn is your cognitive ability. One way to hone your cognitive ability is by maintaining an active social life. An active social life is essential throughout your life, especially as you get older. On the flip side, you need to have good mental health to keep your relationships successful and thriving. Plus, your kids, grandkids and friends will appreciate having an engaging and interesting person like you in their lives.
Our brains grow quickly when weâ€™re children and teenagers, but that growth doesnâ€™t slow down as we age. Older brains contain just as much gray matter as young ones. Staying sharp is just a matter of using what youâ€™ve got. Exercising your brain actually creates physical changes that build stronger synapses between neurons (nerve cells). Synapses allow information to pass extremely fast between nerve cells. Just like physical workouts make your muscles grow, mental exercise does the same for your brain. So pump it up!
Finding balance in your life is important during every decade. For physical balance, activities like yoga and tai chi help strengthen your body, improve physical awareness, and boost motor skills. All of these abilities help reduce falls and other accidents.
Reading, playing music and learning a new language will bring balance to your mind and help reduce stress while keeping your brain engaged. Itâ€™s wise to incorporate a variety of brain-building activities to create a well-rounded mental model for your future.
- Make a commitment to add brain exercise to your daily fitness routine.
- Find time for your relationships to keep your social health as robust as your physical health.
- Incorporate a variety of brain boosting activities into your mental exercise plan.
- Remember that your brain is still growing and you need keep it healthy for a long time to come.
By Elizabeth Beasley – AP
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