Exercises for Your Brain: Stay Sharp As You Age

Many people believe that memory loss and dementia are just natural parts of aging. They are wrong. Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia do have a tendency to occur later in life. However, most of the cognitive decline that people experience when they get old is due more to bad mental habits than to dementia. This means that something can be done to prevent this decline.

The Theory

Brain exercise can establish good mental habits, and can make the mind resistant to the effects of age. A study on the effects of education on the aging mind found that even just a year spent in secondary education increases scores on memory tests given forty years later by a significant amount. Neuroscientists have found that learning capacity can increase with experience. You can fight the effects of age on the mind by making the proper mental effort. Doing regular brain exercises can be a big part of the fight.

Weekly Game Nights

Just playing cards with your friends once a week can sharpen your reasoning skills, improve your memory, and build up your brain. Having a weekly board game night with your family can do much the same thing. As a bonus, playing games involves socializing, and socializing also helps reinforce your brain against the effects of age.

Daily Puzzles

Working on a crossword, jumble, or sudoku puzzle every day can do wonders for your brain. Not only will they help you stay sharper later in life, they will also help make you sharper in your day to day life right now.

Take Adult Learning Classes

Wherever you live, chances are that somebody nearby is offering adult learning classes. Sign up for one. When you have finished it, sign up for another. If you keep learning new things throughout your life, your mind will stay flexible and strong throughout your old age. Not only that, you’ll get to learn all kinds of useful and interesting things. Learning a second language has been shown to be particularly beneficial for fighting off the effects of age. Not only that, it will open up new travel and friendship opportunities.

Learn to Play an Instrument

Learning to play a musical instrument can really get your creative juices flowing. It can also make your mind more flexible, an effect that will last a lifetime. Plus, you’ll have a hobby you’ll enjoy for the rest of your life.

People who do these exercises gain benefits that last as many as five years or more after doing them. They also get better at the daily mental skills involved in money management, housework, and many jobs. Don’t just exercise your body; start working out your brain as well.

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