Our brains are made up of nearly 100 billion neurons, however, if not activated often enough, your brain can actually atrophy. When this happens, neurons are destroyed and the connections that they make go along with them. This leads to a lower ability to process concepts, reason and can even lead to poorer memory.
According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, mild cognitive impairment affects up to 25 percent of people over the age of 70. Keeping your brain active is key to healthy aging. Often we hear about keeping physically active as we age as a key to staying healthy, but we forget about exercising our minds as well.
Forms of Mental Exercise
Science has found that solving puzzles can not only be a good way to keep your brain active and engaged, but it can also be relaxing as well. In addition, if done with friends or family, it can be a great way to socialize as well.
Studies suggest that people who take part in crafts have a lower risk in developing memory loss as they age. Crafting can also help ward off anxiety and depression and leave you with an overall feeling of happiness.
Since cooking uses all of your five senses, it’s a great way to keep your brain activated. Try a new recipe to keep honing your cooking skills or try out an old recipe from memory to challenge your brain.
Writing is often overlooked but is a great, simple way to exercise your brain. It stimulates brain cells and can be effective at improving memory. Write down stories from your past, keep a journal of your thoughts or write a letter to a family member. Whichever you choose, it’ll get your neurons firing and put your brain to work.
Benefits To Mental Exercises
As with all age-related issues, prevention is key to maintaining a healthy, functioning brain. Putting these mental exercises into place can help ward off memory loss, mental fatigue and other cognitive ailments. Plus, these exercises are a great way to open your mind to new ideas. Your brain always loves a challenge, so boost your mental fitness by taking on a new skill. Start a journal or take up pottery. Never played Sudoku? Now’s the perfect time to learn. It can be challenging, but it can also be fun too.