Much of our lives are spent pursuing exercise – getting enough exercise to have strong muscles and bones and limber joints and to control weight. But one of the most underrated and underappreciated parts of our bodies may also need exercise. Nearly 12 percent of Americans age 65 and older report a cognitive decline, and nearly 11 percent in the 45-64 age group do too. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Here’s how to counteract the process of brain aging and work to keep one of your most important organs in top shape.
Move your body, for your mind
While it may seem like moving your body only improves your arms, legs, and core, it’s linked to a healthy brain. Harvard Health reports. That’s because oxygenated blood flows to your brain, particularly the sections responsible for thinking, when you exercise. New neural connections are created and your brain becomes more efficient, they explain.
This smart home gym is a futuristic take on fitness. It’s a fully connected and interactive workout space that has everything you need for a full body workout, all in one 6 foot long unit. When you’re not exercising, the system looks and functions like a regular mirror. Check out the best smart home gyms.
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
The Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycle is a real rival to the Peloton – for a much lower price tag. You’re also not locked into a subscription-based app to stream lessons, giving you flexibility and cost savings. The Schwinn IC4 is compatible with apps such as Peloton, Explore the World, and Zwift, allowing you to choose a platform, or simply drive self-driving. Read more about the best exercise bikes.
Do it in a new way
According to New York psychiatrist and Yale University School of Medicine instructor, you don’t need a brain development app or program to train your mind dr. Guari Khurana. « Nerves only grow under two conditions, » she says. « When we are touched and when we learn new things. » So she recommends trying the same things you already do in a new way or seeking opportunities to learn. « Take classes, watch documentaries about things you may not know…[things that] might make you think or make you think.” Simply reading new material, such as pages of the newspaper you don’t normally pick, can help, she adds.
« Live life a little differently to stimulate your senses… things you haven’t done before, like choosing a different dish at a restaurant. »
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Get a chair massage or a pet
Touch is linked to brain development and one of the few proven ways to build your brain, Khurana says. Even if you don’t have a partner or family member who often hugs you or holds your hand, you can reach out. Try a chair massage or pet or pet a friend’s pet. All these connections help.
This portable massage cushion comes with deep kneading massage knots to relieve tense muscles. The contoured shape allows the user to apply the pillow to different parts of the body, such as the neck, back and limbs.
Explore the path less traveled
Khurana credits Dan Siegel, who wrote about taking a new path to work, whether you walk, cycle or drive. “New sights and sounds…everything stimulates the release of dopamine because you’re doing something new that’s not in your routine, and your brain isn’t used to it, so it’s a bit more awake. It’s not that you have to do this compulsively, but there are very few opportunities in a day, » says Khurana. “That way your brain stays healthy.”
Do puzzles for fun, but don’t expect much brain exercise
Over the past decade, subscriptions to brain-building programs, including games and other mental exercises, have grown in popularity. But Khurana warns against this, saying that you don’t have to spend money to build your brain. Crosswords and other puzzles should be used for fun, but they don’t necessarily build neural connections like touch or learning new things, she says. So get on with your daily crossword if you like, but not at the expense of your budget and not in the name of building your brain.