It’s true that as we age, our brain changes. Did you know the human brain shrinks in size about 5 percent per decade after age 40? But this does not mean we are doomed to a steady decline in cognition. There are many influences on the ageing brain: genetics, biological, and environmental factors all influence physiological and cognitive changes in the brain.
There are known factors that contribute to brain health. Factors like diet, alcohol, exercise, and intellectual pursuits play a role in protecting against cognition problems.
Here are some lifestyle changes you can implement to help protect your cognition as you age.
1. Eat Healthy
Researchers have long praised the Mediterranean diet for promoting brain health as well as overall physical health. This is a diet (or some would suggest a lifestyle) that incorporates more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and fish.
2. Drink Less Alcohol
Low to moderate alcohol intake may reduce cardiovascular risk and may stimulate the hippocampus – the part of your brain that is responsible for short and long-term memory.
3. Physical Exercise
Aerobic activity may help the brain stay healthier as we age. Studies have revealed that aerobic exercise had significant positive effects on the size of the hippocampus- a part of the brain that is essential for learning and remembering new information.
4. Switching Things Up
Challenging your brain by switching up your routine can be very beneficial for brain health. One example would be trying to eat with chopsticks one night a week or learning a new dance. Your brain will then be forced to engage in a different thought process than normal. Trying new experiences or visiting new places can also help stimulate mental growth.
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