Memory jog: five ways to keep your brain in shape

Memory jog: five ways to keep your brain in shape

Keeping your brain healthy is an essential part of ageing well. Here are five easy ways to stay sharp.

Keeping your brain healthy is an essential part of ageing well. Here are five easy ways to stay sharp.

Staying mentally active helps to protect the brain as we age – when we challenge our brains with mind games or a new skill, we generate new brain cells and help build crucial reserve cells and connections. This helps to reduce the risk of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

But not all activities are created equal when it comes to your brain. Here are five of the best ways to keep your grey matter in tip-top shape:

1. Learn something new

Mentally challenging activities such as learning a language, starting a new hobby or enrolling in formal education can have amazing short- and long-term benefits for your brain, as it helps to slow the ageing process by encouraging your grey cells to regenerate.

2. Challenge yourself to mind games

Puzzles, crosswords and other mental exercises are excellent ways to challenge your brain and help to improve memory in the short term. The more you practise these challenges, the better you will get at them, as your brain remembers new strategy and problem-solving techniques.

3. Change the way you get tasks done

To prevent mental overload and fatigue avoid multitasking, which constantly shifts attention from one activity to the next, thereby stressing your brain and slowing you down unnecessarily. By doing one job at a time, you avoid mental tension and your memory has space to improve.

4. Have a daily digital detox

Studies have recently revealed that as few as 30 tech-free minutes a day can help improve brain health. By removing ourselves from phones, tablets and computers for a short period of time, our brains can think deeply without distraction, helping to complete a task properly. A great time to try this is before bed, as the blue lights from digital screens can also reduce sleep quality.

5. Meditate

Recent research has confirmed that just five minutes of peaceful meditation per day can have drastic effects on general wellbeing and brain health, helping to improve mental clarity, memory and state of mind.

Meditation stills the brain, allowing it to rest and refocus. Try a guided meditation app such as Headspace, or simply sit still for five to 10 minutes while focusing on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath.

This article was sponsored by Pantene, which offers a range of products to keep hair strong and in great shape.

How do you keep your brain active? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Healthy Brain

29/04/2018

When my husband retires to bed I like to switch everything off and sit and relax and enjoy my own company. Early in the evening I will do word searches and other puzzles although not very good at crosswords.

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