7 Ways to Exercise Your Brain—And Why You Really Need To! By: Michele Rosenthal
Excerpt of article featured in Spirituality & Health http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/7-ways-exercise-your-brain%E2%80%94and-why-you-really-need
Cognitive brain function peaks in our early fifties, but staying mentally active can prevent brain loss in the years to follow.
Early in your fifth decade, researchers believe, your cognitive brain performance peaks. From there, it’s a downhill slide for the remaining years of your life. The good news is that the brain is highly adaptable; it responds to experiences. In particular, “spaced practice” (repetitive exercise) helps the brain learn, grow, strengthen, and develop. As we age there are ways to combat the reduced function of such mental processes as memory, speed of thinking, problem solving, reasoning, and decision making. Starting to incorporate easy exercises today can help forestall decline tomorrow.
Dr. Sina Aslan, founder and president of Advance MRI … explains, “Through this research we are able to see that cognitive training increases brain blood flow, which is a sensitive physiological marker of brain health. Previous research shows brain blood flow decreases in people beginning in their 20s. The finding that global brain blood flow can be increased with complex mental activity, as this study demonstrates, suggests that staying mentally active helps reverse and potentially prevent brain losses and cognitive decline with aging.”
In fact, the study shows a more than 8% increase in brain blood flow, which significantly impacts cognitive performance and can help your brain stay young. A followup study a year later confirmed that the gains were maintained. That’s good news if you want to boost your mental muscle!
Right about now you may be wondering what you’d have to do in order to reap these benefits. With the stress of an already packed schedule, do you have time to add yet another item to the calendar? Actually, training your brain is incredibly simple and can be done while moving through the tasks of your day.