ORLANDO, FLA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – As you age, your brain starts to change. By age 60, the frontal lobe and hippocampus, areas involved in cognitive function and encoding new memories, start to shrink. So does white matter, the bundles of nerves that carry signals between brain cells. But there are some simple ways to combat these changes.
Every minute of every day, you are getting older and so is your brain. Aging can cause changes in the brain that impact memory and thinking, but the good news is there are ways to offset these effects. The first way to age-proof your brain is to pick up a pickleball paddle. Forty million people have joined the pickleball craze and they may be helping their brains while dinking and rallying. All that time on the court increases gray matter and improves blood flow to the brain, which helps in attention, planning, and impulse control. Jogging, biking, and swimming have also been proven to reduce cognitive decline. But try to stay away from the road while running. A study published in Neurology found people who exercised in areas of high air pollution didn’t get the same brain benefits from their workouts. Next, learn a foreign language. One study found individuals who speak two languages develop dementia an average of four and a half years later than those who speak one.
A French study showed a 15% lower risk of dementia in people who played board games versus those who didn’t.
German researchers found improvements in memory among people who catnapped for as little as six minutes. Lastly – write by hand. Studies suggest you learn better when you take notes by hand because it forces you to process the information you take in.
Another tip: try single-tasking as opposed to multi-tasking. Multi-tasking hijacks the frontal lobe of your brain, which regulates decision-making, problem-solving, and other aspects of learning. Research has shown doing one thing at a time strengthens higher-order reasoning.