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Keep your brain in shape

 Foto Cerebro (1)

When we want to get in shape, we normally tend to concentrate on the neck downwards.  However, the brain needs to be exercised in the same way as the rest of our body muscles.

Mental exercise helps to maintain a healthy mind, while slowing down the ageing process.  As ageing follows its natural progression, cells throughout the organism begin to deteriorate, including brain cells.  However, it is possible to delay the effects of neuronal degeneration with activities that keep the mind active.

An active brain responds more rapidly to stimuli and is more adept at  making decisions.  If your brain is kept in shape, you can increase your resilience, memory, attention, or intellectual skills.  You can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer or other dementias.  The following advice will help you with mind exercises:

Mental stimulation

-       Exercise your memory by attempting to remember news, birthdays, telephone numbers or passwords.  To help you memorize,  decide on what you want to remember and ways that most easily help you to retrieve the information.  Linking facts, or deciding what you want to remember (if possible) is the best way to set and retain ideas.

-       Take up new pastimes, puzzles, chess, sudoku, crosswords. You can find puzzles or games to train your mind at the beginning of the IcasLifestyle portal.

-       Read: Reading is one of the best exercises to keep the mind in shape:  it increases concentration skills, promotes empathy and stimulates the connection between neurons, etc.

-       Learn new things: study another language, find information on subjects that interest you…

Watch your food intake: Take Omega 3 fatty acids, limit saturated fat, eat more fruit and vegetables and complex carbohydrates, and stay hydrated

Practice exercising: Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is vital for mental agility.  It activates the circulation, carrying more nutrients and oxygen to the brain.  It releases hormones that make you feel good, and can even stimulate the growth of new cerebral cells.

Social relationships: Research shows that good relationships and a solid support system are vital not only for emotional health, but also for the brain, so take care of your relationships, join group activities, etc.

Sleep for as long as required: Your comprehensive ability and memory retention may be affected by insufficient rest.

Take up hobbies: Pleasurable pursuits and entertainment keep the mind occupied and avoid boredom.  Routine and monotony are the enemies of our neurons.  Choose one or several activities that appeal to you and keep your mind active.

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