How to train your brain (and build new cells)
Millions of Americans exercise their bodies every day to reach various goals, from weight loss, muscle gain, performance to anything in between.
But how many people actively engage in brain training? Apparently not enough.
Cognitive decline is on the raise, with soaring rates of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
My family has been affected by Alzheimer's so I have a personal interest in the latest research and developments in prevention and treatments of ND.
Today, I wanted to discuss activities anybody can incorporate in their life in order to prevent or at least slow down the degeneration and/or death of the brain cells.
How to train your brain and stimulate new cell growth?
LEARN NEW THINGS
One of the best things you can do for your brain (at any age) is to learn new things or do things in a new, creative ways that are challenging physically and mentally.
Whether it's through acquiring new information, physical skills, hobbies, languages, any new activity that challenges your brain will allow you to form brand new brain cells and connections. And this can happen at any age! So no matter what your age, it's not too late to grow some new neurons.
Reading stimulates activity in parts of the brain responsible for abstract thinking.
Meditation has been shows to increase activity of the prefrontal cortex responsible for rational thinking and decision making.
By exercising your body you literally exercise your brain. Exercising helps with memory, concentration and leads to growth of new neurons.
Diet plays a crucial part in brain health. Brain burns through a shocking 20% of your daily food intake.
Some of the best foods for the brain are:
Fruits & veggies including avocados, blueberries, celery, broccoli, beets, green leafy vegetables, rosemary.
Fatty fish (omega-3 rich) such as salmon and sardines.
Healthy fats: egg yolk, coconut oil, EVOO, walnuts.
Dark Chocolate (70% or more)
Some neuron-stimulating exercise ideas:
- serve dinner/eat/write/play tennis with your non-dominant hand
- learn how to juggle
- learn how to play a new instrument
- enroll in a painting or sculpting class
- memorize a poem (even better in another language)
- open doors with different, than your usual, hand
- touch your left eye with your right hand, while simultaneously touching your right knee with your left hand, then switch (try to do it 10 times as fast as possible)
- ask abstract questions then try to come up with the most creative answers
(this is a great exercise to do with your kids)
- practice memorizing, reconstructing from memory, solve puzzles, crosswords
- play brain stimulating games
Hope you like this article. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me here.