Regular physical activity helps keep your body as well as your brain and mind active and young. As we age, one of the major concerns we face is about losing our memory and thinking abilities. Health experts recommend a variety of therapies to enhance brain function, which include different types of activities and lifestyle changes. According to Harvard Heath a typical brain workout program would include the following ingredients:
- Physical exercise fuels the brain. Various studies have shown that regular physical activity can reduce mental decline in later life. Getting enough exercise increases activity in parts of the brain, which in turn, enhances function and memory, and promotes the growth of new brain cells.
- Incorporating the right foods in your daily diet is also important for the wellbeing of your brain. Nutrition reduces the risk of developing memory problems and promotes brain health. A healthy diet is one that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and oils.
- Health experts also stress the role of cognitive training in improving brain function. Computer and video games push you to sharpen your response times and attention, and improve your thinking skills.
- Proper sleep is important for brain health. Not getting enough sleep leads to many health problems and can have a negative impact on overall physical and mental health fitness. Conditions such as sleep apnea and an overactive bladder could be responsible for sleep deficiency and it’s important to get timely treatment.
- Increasing cognitive reserve is important for the brain to better deal with neurological problems. The extent of cognitive reserve we have determines our susceptibility to develop age-related brain changes or Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that educational and occupational attainment and leisure activities in late life can increase this reserve. Increasing this reserve helps you switch between different tasks and handle unexpected stressors more easily. Meditation and tai chi can enhance cognitive reserve.
Some other important exercises to sharpen your mental skills include testing your recall of names, learning a foreign language, refining your hand-eye abilities, learning a new sport and more. Hospitals, research facilities and private practice offer brain workout programs and choosing one that involves a multispecialty approach would be ideal.