A busy life should take care of most things really. But if taking that extra step improves life in general then may be we must do it. So far as health of a brain is concerned it needs some added stimulation to compensate for age or help children in the best possible way. So here we have the 5 Brain Exercise Habits to keep your Mental Abilities Young.
1. Physical Exercise is the best way to keep your brain young
Exercise is good for the brain. We know that. But most studies of exercise and brain health have focused on the effects of running, walking or other aerobic activities.
Now a new experiment suggests that light resistance training may also slow the age-related shrinking of some parts of our brains.
Our brains are, of course, dynamic organs, adding and shedding neurons and connections throughout our lifetimes. They remodel and repair themselves constantly, in fact, in response to our lifestyles, including whether and how we exercise.
A number of other scientific studies suggest that physical exercise–as opposed to mental exercise–can meaningfully improve our cognitive abilities, from childhood through old age. One study led by Charles Hillman, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois, found that children who regularly exercise displayed substantial improvements in … executive function. They were better at “attentional inhibition,” which is the ability to block out irrelevant information and concentrate on the task at hand … and had heightened abilities to toggle between cognitive tasks. Tellingly, the children who had attended the most exercise sessions showed the greatest improvements in their cognitive scores.
2. Handwriting is an Essential Brain Exercise
Handwriting activates a unique neural circuit, which makes learning easier. Cognitive psychologist Dr. Stanislas Dehaene from the College de France says the handwritten word stimulates our brain. More ideas are expressed when one writes by hand. Note taking among college students is a good memory booster, as it helps them better understand concepts and facts, versus typing on a keyboard where information is not properly retained. Lizette Borreli writes more about these studies in Medical Daily .
3. Exercising your brain…. directly
Exercise & stretch those brains. Studies show that testing the limits of your cognitive functions contribute to a better memory. Right-handed? Try brushing your teeth with your left hand. Or scribble with your left hand. Anything that will “confuse” your routine and awaken neurons that may have been sleeping. Doing crosswords daily for the past 30 years you can practically complete them just by looking at it? Try another puzzle you have not done before: anagrams, brain teasers, or why not learn a new language (in your senior year? Why not?!)
American industrialist, and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford once said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning is young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
4. Rhythmic Deep Breathing Meditation
Meditation is one of the easiest and fastest ways to alter your brainwave state, and the longer and more frequently you meditate, the longer the brainwave state shifts last. Regular meditators tend to experience a semi-permanent to permanent brainwave spectrum shift toward gamma, alpha and theta as they literally recondition their neural pathways and stimulate new growth that reinforces these patterns.
Perhaps the best way to do this is through what is called ‘Rhythmic Deep Breathing Meditation,’ although other forms of meditation are certainly effective for achieving these ends as well.
Once you’ve gotten yourself into a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and take a handful of deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth to relax further.
Start off by taking an inhalation that is slightly deeper than normal. With your mouth closed, exhale through your nose while constricting and lightly tightening your throat muscles. When you are doing it correctly, you should sound like Darth Vader from Star Wars. Some also liken the sound of this type of breathing to the sound of the ocean or what you hear when you put your ear up to a shell.
5. Eating healthy and also Green Tea
A good diet goes a long way both for your physical and mental soundness. Nevertheless, some items have been found to be specifically related to the brain function.
Green tea has long been revered in China, Japan and other ancient cultures for its legendary health benefits, but few know that it positively affects brainwave state as well.
That’s because green tea is rich in L-Theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid that has been shown in numerous studies to shift brainwaves into the alpha spectrum quite readily.
It has been noted that a diet comprising of nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and brazil nuts help improve your brain activity. Fruits like pomegranate, avocado, and veggies like broccoli and sage help too. Other things you should snack upon would be pumpkin and sesame seeds.