How to keep your brain young

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We all want to keep our minds in tip-top condition, and it turns out that it is absolutely within our power! Around 25% of the way our brain ages is down to our DNA and rest is down to how we live our lives. So here are some simple tips to help you keep your brain at the top of its game (and it’s not just doing difficult sudokus and complicated crossword puzzles every night, don’t worry!).

Staying social

One of the best things you can do with your brain is to keep connected with others. As if loneliness wasn’t bad enough, it can have a profound effect on your mental and physical health. Being lonely can increase your chances of developing dementia, can make your brain harmfully inflamed and is worse for your health than being obese or even an alcoholic. So now is the time to meet up with friends for brunch, organize a games night in or even hit a party if you’re feeling a little wild! It’s all for the sake of keeping your brain healthy, so treat yourself to some leisure time with your friends (oh, okay then)!

Get walking

Exercising is another massive boost to your brain. One of the reasons for this is that, when you start moving, you make your cardiovascular system work harder which in turn provides oxygenated blood to your brain. Another reason is that our muscles produce a protein when they are in motion that can improve the growth of the cells in your brain – particularly in the hippocampus. This is important because the hippocampus is essential to our memory skills. It is recommended that you get approximately 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week. Any kind of activity that leaves you short of breath can contribute to this amount. So think about taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walk where possible, and take time to play in the garden with the kids. It’s good for your brain!

Make some music

Music, unlike other activity you can do, is unique because it excites both hemispheres of your brain at once. Getting the two sides of your brain to communicate in this way is really positive as this cross-communication can strengthen your corpus callosum (part of your midbrain) and improves the number of synapses that you have. And on top of all that, music is a really fun pastime. So have you been putting off guitar lessons or picking back up that old brass instrument you used to play in the school band? Here’s the perfect reason to get going again. Even better news, singing counts too. So carry on belting out those karaoke tunes in the shower, it’s good for you!

So there are some ways to keep your brain going that are pretty simple, and you may not have previously considered. Being healthy doesn’t always have to be a chore, and your brain will thank you for it. Maybe you could combine the three together and take your friends on a choir singing tour of the neighborhood. Now that sounds pretty dreamy, right?!

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