15 Ways to Keep Your Brain Feeling 40, Even at Age 60 or Beyond

As our bodies age, our mental faculties age with them. Brain function changes as we age, and a decline can occur.

Concerns over conditions such as dementia are understandable. It’s a cruel affliction, and many of us have seen family or close friends suffer. Cognitive decline isn’t, however, inevitable, and there are many ways we can keep our brains young.

1. Look After Your Physical Health

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s important to maintain an exercise routine as we age. Even a brisk walk for 30 minutes daily can significantly benefit our physical and mental health.

Research shows that exercise can stimulate new nerve cells and increase the number of blood vessels that boost the brain’s thinking power. Therefore, if you want to care for your brain, you must also take care of your body.

2. Stay Social

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Stronger social connections help guard against dementia, so look to maintain existing friendships while building new ones. As we age, more clubs and activities are available for specific groups. They cover many activities and offer a perfect solution for creating those social networks.

3. Do a Puzzle

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You’ll likely see ads on your smartphone for word games. They’re hard to miss, and they claim to keep your brain stimulated while providing some fun at the same time.

Those claims are valid; doing any word puzzle can help maintain a healthy brain age. Science shows that these kinds of activities help stimulate existing nerve cells, and they may even build new cells. Math puzzles are also great if that’s your thing.

4. Take an Online Course

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As a longer-term mental exercise, why not register for an online course? It has the same benefits to the brain as a quick puzzle while offering the chance to learn something new.

Some courses are free, while others charge a small fee to access the material.

5. Play Chess

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Many board games can offer help, but few are as cerebral as chess. Once you understand the complex rules, strategy plays a huge part in the gameplay, and it’s a great way to keep the brain sharp.

You can easily play online against a computer, or why not join a club and improve your social connections?

6. Get Outdoors

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Getting out into nature resets our brains. It’s calming and provides a break from work and everyday life stress. The reboot allows for better focus, so try incorporating it into your daily routine. If the weather is foul, look out a window for a few minutes to mimic the effect.

7. Listen to Music

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

There are claims that music offers a total brain workout. It battles all areas that fight mental decline, including anxiety, sleep quality, and blood pressure. Research has shown where the brain responds to music, and it’s all in areas that tackle the mental aging process.

8. Be Cautious with Alcohol and Tobacco

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Medical professionals recommend avoiding tobacco, so if you have concerns about your brain health, it’s a good idea to look at ways to quit smoking. Excessive use of alcohol is also known to increase your risk of contracting dementia, so aim to reduce or eliminate your consumption.

9. Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Reducing alcohol can also help keep blood pressure within recommended levels. Eating a healthy diet and reducing stress are other positive factors. Mental decline in later life is linked to high blood pressure levels, so consider making positive changes.

10. Focus on One Thing

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Focus is one of the most challenging skills to master in these days of new technology. There are so many stimulants. We find ourselves texting, watching TV, and trying to have a conversation while making plans all at the same time. This leads to overload, which is not ideal. It’s tough but focus on one thing at a time.

11. Get Enough Sleep

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Adults between 18 and 60 need at least seven hours of sleep each night, but about a third of us fall short of this target. Reasons for disturbed sleep vary and depend on the individual, but addressing the issue is essential. Research recommended ways to get more sleep to look after your long-term health and be more alert during the day.

12. Enjoy a Good Laugh

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Laughter is great medicine. When we laugh to lift our moods, it sparks a chemical reaction that releases a hormone called cortisol. Over time, too much stress affects our memory and learning process. Cortisol helps in the battle against stress, so put on your favorite funny movie, TV show, or stand-up comedian and laugh away.

13. Guard Against Diabetes

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Diabetes is another significant risk factor for dementia, making it essential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels at all stages of life. See your doctor for regular checkups and follow a healthy diet to keep your blood sugar levels within the recommended guidelines.

14. Change Your Routine

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A change in routine, however small, helps with the part of the brain that controls learning. You can fool your mind into learning a new skill by switching around your daily habits, so try not to get stuck in the same daily routine. Even a tiny change, such as having your first coffee break 30 minutes early, will help.

15. Protect Your Head

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A sudden head injury can undo your hard work, so use protection when possible. Always wear a helmet when cycling, and consider similar options for team sports. If you’re concussed or have any blow to the head, however minor, seek medical help right away.

+ posts