Brain exercises

| February 22, 2013

Your brain may not be a muscle, but you can work it like one to help prevent memory loss and other cognitive difficulties associated with aging. As your brain ages, it loses the ability to fight against substances and processes that can harm it, including free radicals and inflammation. Aging brain cells also gradually stop communicating with each other, which affects memory and thought processes. Research shows that B vitamins, including folic acid and niacin, are critical as low levels of this vitamin group are associated with a decline in brain function. Studies also show that a high-fat diet is bad for memory and learning, and that a low-calorie diet helps preserve them.

What You Can Do Now

Along with wise dietary choices, you can keep your brain cells in shape by challenging them daily: do crossword and word puzzles, study a new language or take a class in something that challenges you intellectually, join a site discussion group, volunteer for a cause you believe in, help teach illiterate children to read, attend lectures offered in your community, read a variety of newspapers and magazines from around the world on the Internet, or keep a daily journal.

Although it’s not clear exactly how much brain exercises can prevent memory loss and other cognitive difficulties, the results of several large studies provide much promise. In the landmark Nun Study from the 1980s, researchers tested the cognitive ability of 100 nuns who had written their autobiographies fifty years earlier. The scientists found that those who had lower language abilities were at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Another study of more than 800 Catholic clergy found that reading newspapers and engaging in other brain-stimulating activities reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Don’t wait. Stimulate those brain cells today!

Category: Fight aging now