The science is now firmly clear that there are activities that you can do throughout your life that will improve the function of your brain, and promote its longevity through old age. From exercise, to education, to diet, it seems the better care we take of ourselves, the better health our brain stays in. So we wanted to know which activities we should specifically be doing, especially in older age. Here are the top results:
- Golf. Good news for Vancouver Island residents – swinging at a golf ball is a great activity for older adults to stay both physically and mentally healthy. Studies believe that the combination of focus, motor skills, and light activity make this a great activity to promote brain regeneration and overall health.
- Listen to music. Music can affect our mood, offering a source of relaxation when words just won’t do the trick. But music also ignites areas of the brain that improve communication, verbal fluency, and spatial processing. Some arguments can be made for the genre, but your level of satisfaction is ultimately just down to taste.
- Learn a language. It’s never too late to start learning a new language, and with so many accessible language learning opportunities from community centres, to universities, to apps and software programs, now is a great time to finally hone those Japanese skills. Many studies suggest that learning a language – at any age – is one of the best safeguards against dementia you can provide your brain (outside of genetics).
- Sleep more. Your body – including your brain – regenerate while you sleep, so it makes sense that those who sleep enough have healthier cognitive function. ‘Sleep numbers’ – the amount of sleep your body uniquely requires – vary from person to person, but everyone should know what theirs is and strive to achieve it as often as possible.
- Maintain relationships. Caring about someone or something literally lights up areas of your brain and stimulates activity. Whatever the important relationships are – your family, friends, pets, make sure you always include them in your life and prioritise their presence.