- Keep It Moving
As we age, our brain cells (neurons) lose the tree-branch-like connections between them. These connections, or synapses, are essential to thought. Over time, our brains lose their mass. The best way to keep our mind sharp is physical exercise. This means both cardio & weight lifting. Health professionals suggest at least 20 minutes a day. That’s not much compared to what’s at stake.
- Feed It Right
Another path to a better brain is through your stomach. We’ve all heard about antioxidants as cancer fighters. Eating foods that contain these molecules, which neutralize harmful free radicals, do well for your brain too. Your nutrition as a whole is extremely important for brain health. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol all make life tough on your brain.
- Keep It Quick
Exercising your mind is essential for keeping your brain feeling young. Your brain starts slowing down at the shockingly ripe age of 30. There are now many programs and apps that pump the mind muscles. Challenging your neurons with puzzles, learning a new language or skill, or even sharpening your analytical problem solving can serve your brain well in the long run.
- Give It a Rest
Perhaps one of the best things you can do to help your mental state is to sleep. Next time you’re working on a complex problem, whether it be a calculus proof or choosing the right home for your family, it really pays to “sleep on it.” Having a good night’s rest is proven to double the chances of finding a creative solution to the problems the next day.
- Laugh It Off
Humor stimulates the parts of our brain that use the “feel good” chemical messenger dopamine. This is a huge reason why this is an activity you want to do over and over again. Laughter is pleasurable, perhaps even “addictive,” to the brain.