Monday, August 8, 2016

Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp

As you get older, you'll start to realize more and more the importance of keeping your mind sharp. Because after all, not only does your body age, but your brain does as well. And just like with muscles, not working your brain often will cause it to decline, which can lead to poor memory and a harder time figuring out problems. Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to keep the mind sharp, and the best ways are relatively simple. So get up and do something!

1. Challenge Yourself

Constantly challenge your brain to keep it on its edge. Always be learning. Do crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Read as much as you can. Try new things. Brush your teeth with your left hand. Situations that make your brain work harder or frustrates you is actually a good thing. The brain fires new synapses when it has to do something that is out of the norm, encouraging brain growth and increasing the number of connections as well. We thrive on stimulus.

2. Exercise

Doing regular aerobic exercise can really do wonders for the brain, as well as boosting your immune system and fighting off depression. Especially cardio, getting your blood pumping improves blood flow and increases cognitive function. Studies have shown that regularly exercising can improve memory and recall. It's when you exercise all the other parts of your body that your brain can think clearer as well. So try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day. You can even start right now.

3. Eat Right

Forget the junk and fast food, instead create a balanced diet for yourself. Don't eat too much starchy, sweet, or fatty foods, and don't starve yourself either. An extreme diet can actually have negative effects on brain function. Focus on quality and quantity. The best advice is to eat as much whole foods as possible while avoiding processed foods as well. You should have a healthy balance of healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates, while making sure you're getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Don't forget your fruits, veggies, and whole grains either!

4. Get Enough Sleep

Feeling well-rested is one of the best ways for keeping your mind sharp. Cognitive skills, memory, decision making, and the ability to think clearly declines sharply when you're sleep deprived, and it gets chronically worse as you step into old age. So get the recommended hours of sleep each night, try taking short naps in the afternoon, and wake up at a time where you feel energized the most.

5. Don't Overwork Yourself

Don't stress yourself out too much, it's actually bad for you (as you may have guessed). Too much stress can overwhelm the brain, which in the long-term can affect the way you make decisions and even memory. Finding a balance in life is the key to happiness and reducing stress. Some of the best ways to reduce stress include socializing, meditation, and yoga.

Author: Athlete Audit


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