If there’s one major concern we may share as we get older, it’s our overall brain health and intelligence. We hear so much about age-related cognitive decline that as soon as you start to have a slight wobble in your mental abilities, whether it’s forgetting where you put your keys or taking a couple of seconds longer to remember someone’s name, it can feel like a big deal. However, there are key ways of boosting your brain health in general.

Lifelong Learning

We need to get away from the idea that our learning capacity is fixed. This has long been debunked because of what is known as neuroplasticity. While children can learn things quickly, we can learn the same type of things. We just need to give ourselves a bit more time than the kiddos. Engaging in lifelong learning through a new language or playing chess will broaden your mind. 

The key is all about stimulating the brain. And, when we start to seek out activities that force us to learn, we avoid mental stagnation because we are constantly exposing ourselves to new information and experiences. But, we also need to remember that while exercising our brain is fantastic for cognitive flexibility, we need rest, too.

Prioritize Rest and Stress Management

Sleep is one of those things that we all know we should get more of, but the science of sleep continues to evolve at a pace that only in recent years are we understanding what sleep does for our memory. 

Sleeping is such a critical tool for so many aspects of our lives that getting a good seven to eight hours of quality sleep per night is crucial for our brain function, but also when we’re learning new things sleep acts as a transporter to shuttle new memories from short-term to long-term storage. 

Additionally, anxiety and depression can impact cognition. Having a negative perception of ourselves in addition to stress depleting our resources makes balancing sleep and stress management vitally important.

The Importance of Physical Exercise

Exercise is great for all of us. But even if you don’t care about losing weight or building strength, physical activity increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which can then improve cognitive function. We should incorporate aerobic exercise and practices that stimulate flexibility so we can boost that all-important blood flow around the body. Physical therapists recommend approximately 150 minutes per week of anything like swimming, jogging, or walking. And don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers during your walk. Boosting your brain health never smelled so good!

boost your brain health

And while we’re on the subject of physical health, one can’t overlook a healthy diet that minimizes processed foods. If you are looking for supplements that can help, creatine has been extensively studied and can be used as part of your physical workout. And it can benefit your brain as well, adding a whole heap of color to our gray areas!