Exercise your mind

Thanks to medical advancements, people are living considerably longer nowadays. That’s why it’s important to reach your golden years with a youthful and well-trained mind, and to do everything you can to keep in shape.

The mind is like a “muscle”: if you don’t keep it well-trained, it will eventually lose its strength.

Some people live to 90 years of age with a perfectly clear mind, while others begin to show early signs of dementia as early as 65 or 70.

In addition to having a natural genetic predisposition, let’s take a look at some other ways to keep your mind well-trained!

Lifestyle

It might seem trivial, but changing certain lifestyle habits can have an extremely positive effect on the brain. There are several activities that are seemingly unrelated to the brain, yet impact it in a positive way: let’s find out what they are!

  • Regular physical activity. Taking a long walk every day (at least half an hour) increases the delivery of oxygen to the brain. Aerobic activities, like cycling and running, help to protect the hippocampi, which are responsible for the formation and maintenance of the memory. 
  • Engaging in our passions. There are numerous group activities that help to keep the brain active: travelling, go out dancing, playing lawn bowling, fishing, and gardening are all activities that encourage social interaction and keep the mind young. 
  • Sleeping well (which doesn’t mean sleeping a lot): some people just a few hours of sleep to feel well-rested. With quality sleep (regardless of the number of hours), the mind will be fresh and rested. 
  • Mediterranean diet. This consists of a varied and well-balanced diet, low in fat and free radicals. Excessively large meals are not recommended. Did you know that two shots of espresso per day help to keep the brain young?

Mental exercises

Now let’s move on to the specific exercises designed to keep the mind well-trained. While there’s no need to attempt impossible puzzles, “difficult” games can certainly be more stimulating. Whatever the case, a series of exercises suitable for everyone are listed below:

  • Puzzles: A book of puzzles is an excellent way to exercise your brain. Some scholars argue that two crossword puzzles a day can delay the onset of dementia. Other games, especially riddles, can also be beneficial. 
  • Chess: this complex and stimulating game requires a great deal of concentration. Every match is different, and this requires the players to continuously seek out different solutions. This in turn will have a positive impact on memory and mental clarity
  • Counting down. Here’s a challenging maths game: starting from a high number, continue subtracting a fixed number, and try to increase your speed. 
  • Reading: Reading a newspaper every day, from start to finish, stimulates brain activity. Reading a book is also good for this purpose, especially if it’s a mystery: investigating the plot alongside the protagonist is a good way to stimulate brain activity.

Don’t stop there!

It’s important to constantly seek out new stimuli in order to keep your mind well-trained.

Solitude, laziness, and boredom are enemies of the brain!

Enjoy the company of friends and family as much as possible, indulge your passions and hobbies, eat properly, and sleep well: this is the best formula for reaching your golden years with a mind that’s still fresh and dynamic!

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