Did you know the human brain has the ability to adapt and change – even into old age? It’s called Neuroplasticity. With the correct stimulation your brain can form new pathways and alter existing connections. So whether you are someone looking to stay mentally sharp or a senior wanting to improve your memory, there are things you can do to boost your brain power and enhance your mental performance.
Tip 1: Get Your Rest
When you are overly tired or sleep deprived you brain cannot operate at its peak performance levels. Your problem-solving and critical thinking skills drastically decline. Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, particularly during the deepest stages and REM sleep. During REM sleep (dream sleep) our brains create long term memories. 7-8 hours a night is the common recommendation, so set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
Tip 2: Exercise
When you hear the words physical exercise, is your brain the first thing you think about? Probably not, but we need to treat our brains like it’s another muscle. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain, reduces the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease (both disorders that can lead to memory loss), and enhances your ability to process and retrieve information.
Tip 3: Eat a Healthy Diet
Your brain needs fuel. More specifically, your brain needs healthy fuel. A well balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and “healthy” fats can improve your memory. Be sure to also include Omega-3’s in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to brain health and can be found in fish (salmon, trout, tuna, etc.) or other whole food sources like walnuts, kidney beans, broccoli, and spinach.
Tip 4: Nurture your Relationships
Relationships are crucial to our brain health because they stimulate our brains. Interacting with others is a form of brain exercise and people with active social lives have a slower rate of memory decline. To reap the brain-boosting benefits of socializing you could volunteer, join a club in your community, schedule time to spend with friends or even adopt a pet.
Tip 5: Brain Games
The more you “work out” your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and retain information. An enjoyable way to work out your brain is with online brain games. You can try out some brain games on the AARP website by clicking the following link: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/brain_games/.
A healthy brain = a strong mind. Follow these 5 easy brain boosting tips to improve your memory and stay mentally sharp.