As we age, we tend to fall into familiar patterns and routines that are not helpful for our brain. The most impactful benefit comes when you engage in a variety of activities each day that stimulate and challenge different parts of your brain. Your brain is challenged when you move outside your comfort zone. Engage in the arts or taking dance lessons. Exercise your memory and thinking skills by learning a new language; teach yourself a new word everyday, then use it!
We hear a lot about brain games these days. Most experts agree the key to strengthening your brain is to choose games you enjoy that are novel and provide you with a moderate to high level of challenge. Find games that continually test your abilities, so as you get better the games get harder. Select games that require concentration and a quick response. If you love crossword puzzles and Sudoku, choose those that get more and more challenging. Better yet, give yourself a time limit and try to beat it each time you play.
"Maintaining healthy habits is central to preserving your health. Unfortunately, it is common to drift away from healthy habits in retirement. These changes happen in small degrees and may be related to stressors that fundamentally impact your physical and cognitive health. It is vital to place a priority on self-care strategies such as being physically active, engaging in pleasurable activities, and eating nourishing foods. Focus on making changes in your life that provide deeper benefits to your health. Incorporate a wide spectrum of healthy lifestyle choices into your daily life to manage your stress, improve your health, and maintain your cognitive capabilities. Then you can focus on living your life consistent with your values and engage in activities that bring you joy." - Karen Grothe, Ph.D., L.P., Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Chair, Division of Consultation, Department of Psychiatry & Psychology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Do you speak more than 1 language? What activities do you engage in that stimulate your brain?