6 Top tips on anti-aging your brain, keep your brain function high and even increasing the longevity of your life. In the words of the eternally youthful Cher, we all occasionally want to ‘turn back time’, especially when it comes to maintaining the cognitive function of our brain. Yet while such cosmological feats remain unavailable to us mere mortals, there are things we can do to slow down the aging process, protect our brain, and revitalise our brain function.
1. Purpose: Stimulate Your Brain
It has been proven that those who have a purpose in their lives live longer. Injecting your every day with a drive in pursuit of acquiring a new skill is a profound and transformative journey that can lead to greater fulfillment, happiness, your brain staying active, and a sense of direction.
So while many people find themselves feeling adrift at some point in their lives, searching for meaning and significance, purpose is not an elusive concept – it can be cultivated and nurtured.
Purpose often arises from setting and pursuing those aforementioned goals. These should align with your values and passions to keep your brain healthy and stimulate cognitive function. Whether it’s a career objective, a personal development goal, or a commitment to a cause, having a clear sense of what you’re working towards can infuse your life with purpose and help maintain high cognitive function.
2. Stay In Touch: Descrease Cognitive Decline
Numerous studies have unequivocally demonstrated a disturbing connection between social isolation and a myriad of adverse health outcomes, including high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, and even a risk of dementia. The consequences of prolonged social isolation are far-reaching, affecting both mental and physical well-being, and possibly posing a risk of dementia.
These studies have consistently shown that individuals who experience social isolation are at an increased risk of various health problems, including higher blood pressure, decreased resistance to infection, accelerated cognitive decline, and higher rates of depression, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
So whether it’s attending a local coffee morning, making a weekly phone call to a faraway family member, or just chatting to your neighbour, social interaction is vital to keep your cognitive function high and anti-aging your brain.
3. Expand Your Horizons: Brain Training
Reading more books (or listening to them) is an excellent and easy way to boost our brains and improve our cognitive function. A study conducted by the Yale University School of Public Health has revealed that individuals who engage in regular book reading tend to enjoy a longer lifespan, extending their lives by approximately two years when compared to those who do not read.
Alternatively, taking up a new hobby that challenges the way you think – crosswords, puzzles, or sudoku for example – will also have a positive effect on your brain health, whilst also bringing great pleasure.
4. Get Your Beauty Sleep: Keep Your Brain Young
Sleep is essential for our overall health, and lack of it leads to accelerated aging of brain cells.
Aim for at least six-and-a-half hours and if you’re struggling to hit this consider where the problems lie: perhaps your bedroom is too hot or drinking caffeine too late in the day is making you restless.
You can also try sleep meditation before you doze off, it could help anti-aging your brain, protect your brain from injury and also stimulate maximum zzzzz production.
5. Take A Cold Shower: Improve Cognitive Health
It may seem like an overly simple technique, but taking a cold shower three or four times a week can really give you a boost in your body and brain function.
Cold water encourages cell regeneration, promoting overall health, longer life, and helps to keep your brain healthy. Furthermore, it enhances blood circulation by alternating between constricting and dilating blood vessels, providing a workout for your heart and bolstering the vitality of your mitochondria – the energy generators within your cells. Consequently, cold water proves to be a remarkable overall health booster.
6. Move More: Exercise Regularly
Research conducted at the University of California has revealed that spending 10 hours per day in a seated position accelerates the ageing of your cells, effectively advancing your ‘biological age’ by eight years.
Thankfully, you don’t need to do anything particularly strenuous to keep the brain active, even simple tasks can help anti-aging your brain. Aiming for 10,000 steps a day – invest in a fitness tracker if you are unsure – has been proven to reduce body fat and increase oxygen intake, meaning better health gets closer with every step you take.
FAQ: Anti-aging Your Brain
Q: What are some ways to keep my brain healthy as I age?
A: You can keep your brain healthy as you age by staying physically active, maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, getting enough sleep, staying socially engaged, and challenging your brain with new activities.
Q: How does high blood pressure affect the brain?
A: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the brain, leading to a higher risk of stroke, cognitive impairment, and other brain-related issues.
Q: What role does cholesterol play in brain aging?
A: High levels of LDL cholesterol can contribute to the development of plaques and tangles in the brain, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline.
Q: Can keeping my mind active help protect against memory loss?
A: Yes, engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzles, reading, or learning new skills, can help build cognitive reserve and reduce the risk of age-related memory loss.
Q: What are some ways to keep the blood flow to my brain optimal?
A: Regular physical exercise, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and avoiding smoking can all help improve and maintain proper blood flow to the brain.
Q: How can I protect my brain from the effects of aging?
A: You can protect your brain from aging by adopting a healthy lifestyle, engaging in regular physical and mental exercise, managing risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and seeking medical help if you notice any concerning changes in your cognitive abilities.
Q: What are some ways to keep older adults’ brains healthy?
A: Keeping older adults’ brains healthy involves encouraging them to stay socially connected, engaged in mentally stimulating activities, and to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Q: How do stimulating activities help keep the brain healthy?
A: Engaging in stimulating activities helps keep the brain healthy by promoting the formation of new connections between nerve cells, boosting blood flow to the brain, and enhancing cognitive function.
Q: Can cognitive impairment be delayed through lifestyle choices?
A: Yes, adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical exercise, a balanced diet, and mental stimulation, can contribute to building cognitive reserve and delay cognitive impairment associated with aging.
Q: What changes in the brain should I be aware of as I age?
A: As you age, it’s important to be aware of changes in the brain such as decreased blood flow, shrinkage of certain areas, and the accumulation of plaques and tangles, which can impact cognitive function and memory.