Did you know that there are anywhere from 80 to 100 billion neurons in the human brain? Each one makes up a complex network of hundreds of trillions of synapses that enable cells to communicate with one another.
With that much complexity going on, there is a lot to maintain. One of the biggest impacts of aging is the thinning of your brain’s frontal cortex, which is responsible for contributing to the formation of memories and concentration.
Keeping your mind clear and your memory sharp is important as you age. Courtesy of Renewed Vitality, here are six great tips for doing exactly that!
You’ve likely heard it time and time again, but yes, it really is that simple. As we age, our brain cells, or neurons, find it more challenging to communicate amongst themselves. Over time, the vast, tree-branch like connections between them can lose some heft.
One of the best ways to combat this is by daily physical activity. Exercise stimulates brain plasticity by stimulating the growth of new connections between neurons in a variety of ways, according to recent research from UCLA.
Another bit of advice that’s seemingly as old as time itself: be sure you are eating well, giving your body and brain the proper fuel it needs to keep functioning at the highest level. Foods like fruits and vegetables are packed full of antioxidants, which help prevent and slow damage to brain cells caused by aging.
Some beans, whole grains, nuts, and spices are also greater sources of antioxidants. In addition, healthy fatty acids, like omega-3s, have been clinically shown to increase blood flow to the brain, leading to better thinking ability, cognition, and boosted brain function.
Exercise Your Mind
Keeping your brain sharp usually goes hand-in-hand with keeping your body physically fit, but it’s important to set aside time for workouts that specifically hone in on your brain function.
Logic challenges, like jigsaw puzzles, word games, and even LEGO can exercise both the right and left sides of your brain at once. These types of games have been shown to reinforce connections between neurons, improve mental speed, and are an especially effective way to improve short-term memory, which is one of the earliest functions that begins to weaken as you age.
Laugh Loudly and Often
Laughter, happiness, positivity, and an all-around good mood are great ways to keep your brain active and engaged. As an old saying goes, laughter is the best medicine, and as it turns out, this actually has some serious science behind it.
Not only does laughter relax your body to relieve physical tension and stress, but it also triggers the release of endorphins that promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Always make an effort to enjoy the lighter side of life, your gray matter will thank you down the road!
Stay Calm and Mindful
Chronic stress and anxiety is known to degrade memory and cognitive functioning, leading to impaired function of the hippocampus and the PFC. Over time, this damage can lead to an increased risk in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders like depression and dementia.
Sometimes, practices like yoga and meditation can relax your body and mind, creating stability and balancing the emotional state of your brain. Recollecting a positive emotion or imagining a pleasurable scene during mediation can go a long way in alleviating stress, which will lead to a better quality of life in the long-run.
Try Hormone Replacement Therapy
It may sound like a stretch, but hear us out! A recent study conducted by the North American Menopause Society looked at more than 2,000 postmenopausal women over a 12-year period in order to discover what, if any, association there is between estrogen and brain health.
Over the course of the study, the women were tested at various points on five factors of brain health, including psychomotor skills, memory, identification and association, orientation, and concentration and calculation.
As it turns out, the study found that the longer a woman is exposed to estrogen, whether it be naturally or via hormone replacement therapy, the better her brain health and mental flexibility will be as she enters her sixties.
At Renewed Vitality, we specialize in helping people get their lives back and achieve their dreams. We are the Berks County area’s premier facility for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other treatments. We serve both men and women, offering safe, effective care that relieves hormone imbalance symptoms and restores quality of life for patients at all stages of life. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact Renewed Vitality in Wyomissing, PA today!