“Use it or lose it” is a proverb that refers to both our physical and mental well-being. We are aware of the need of engaging in regular physical activity, particularly as we age and work to lower our risk of contracting illness and other aging-related health problems. For example, strength training can help you gain muscle and increase bone density; and regular moderate to vigorous exercise can help you keep your range of motion and stay limber. Similarly, both physical and mental exercise can help your brain’s cognitive reserve, which refers to its capacity to resist neurological damage brought on by aging and other circumstances without slowing down or losing memory.
A Whole-Body Approach to a Healthy Brain
So what kind of mental exercise might be beneficial? According to research, maintaining healthy habits and engaging in both physical and mental exercise are the best strategies for maintaining mental acuity. According to a different study, Persons who engage in a variety of healthy habits greatly lower their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. People who followed at least four of the five healthy lifestyle habits- nonsmoking, regular exercise, low to moderate alcohol consumption, adherence to dietary patterns, and participation in activities that improve cognitive skills- were about 60% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Regular exercise can help to enhance vascular health and protect brain tissue in addition to a healthy diet. It’s also important to avoid ruts and dullness. The brain likes to learn new things and some studies think that if people pay less attention to their surroundings, their risk of developing dementia increases. The brain tends to atrophy when it is passive. So, over time, engaging in sedentary and largely passive activities like spending hours in front of a TV can be harmful to your brain.
10 Brain Exercises That Boost Memory When You Old Age:
1. Test your recall:
Make a list of anything that comes to mind, such as groceries or to-do tasks- and memorize it. Check how many things you can remember an hour or so later. For the most mental stimulation, make the list as difficult as you can. Writing and organizing lists may improve an older person’s ability to recall word lists, according to a small prior study.
2. Let the music play:
Join a singing group or get an instrument lesson. Learning new and challenging skills is beneficial for the aging brain and although there is limited research, a previous review article in The Gerontologist suggested that musical practices such as playing an instrument, singing in a musical group, or taking piano lessons, handled particular promise for healthy brain aging.
3. Do math in your Head:
Solve problems without using a pencil, paper, or computer. In a short study, solving arithmetic problems appeared to improve participants’ cognition, which was published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology in 2021. By walking at the same time, you can increase the difficulty and athleticism of this activity.
4. Take a cooking class:
Learn to prepare a new type of food. Cooking involves the use of several senses including smell, touch, sight, and taste which activate several brain regions. Additionally according to the Cleveland Clinic; seniors will engage cognitive abilities like organizing, multitasking, problem-solving, creating a grocery list, and meal planning.
5. Learn a foreign language:
Learning a new language can help them to pass boring time in new activities, which improves Memory and Cognitive Functions. Learning ancient languages (like Sanskrit, and Pali) may be also helpful to enjoy a good time and recover from anxieties. Learning Sanskrit improves our brain’s thought patterns, so we can more easily grasp new knowledge and concepts.
6. Create word pictures:
Consider the spelling of a word in your mind, then try to come up with other words that start (or end) with the same two letters.
7. Draw a map from memory:
Try to create a map of the area after visiting a new location and returning home. Every time you visit a new location, repeat this activity. Previous research on London cab drivers- who are required to memorize the complicated city layout, found that good memorization resulted in long-lasting changes to brain structure and improved cognitive function.
8. Put your taste buds to the test:
During eating a meal make an effort to recognize each ingredient in your food, including variations in spices and herbs.
9. Develop your hand-eye coordination:
Consider picking up a new interest that requires fine motor skills and can help you maintain your hand-eye coordination. This could be playing computer games, racquet sports, tai chi, knitting, or other crafts.
10. Learn a new sport:
Start Engaging in physical activity. As you age, improving your balance, strength, and aerobic capacity, or your body’s capacity to use oxygen for energy, can help keep your brain healthy, according to a review that was published in Frontiers in Psychology in December 2019. While Harvard Health Publishing advises swimming for its advantages to the brain, Morley specifically suggests yoga, golf, or tennis as brain-boosting exercises.