Monday, April 28, 2014

8 ways to keep your brain sharp

We all tend to forget things from time to time.  It seems as if the older we get the more we forget.  Here are eight tips that can keep your brain growing at any age.

1. Move it or lose it.  Working out causes more blood flow to the brain.  It also increases a protein called BDNF which is a crucial protein that helps spur the growth.  Thirty minutes of vigorous aerobic activity and fifteen minutes of strength training four times a week should do the trick.

2. Change your expectations.  Stress and frustration can lead to memory problems.  A lot of your daily aggravations are a result of not managing your expectations.  If you expect things to always flow smoothly, you usually become stressed and angry when they don't.  Frustrations affect your short term memory and long term brain health.

3. Feed your brain.  You need to get enough DHA.  Since this is almost impossible through your diet, it is recommended that yiou buy supplements.  DHA is thought to be a super brain food.

4. Eat flavonoids.  Deeply colored berries and grapes, beets, dark chocolate and cocoa contain flavonoids.  These can boost your brain.

5. Reduce these three numbers: blood sugar, blood pressure and belly fat.  These things put you at a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease.

6. Protect your head. Always where a helmet when on a bike, skiing or skating.  You should also wear protection when playing concussion-prone sports.  A minor falls can cause a microscopic tear in you brain which can lead to memory problems.

7. Take on new challenges.  You should always keep learning and memorizing new things.  You can study a new language or memorize poems and songs that you like.

8. See friends in 3D.  Get out and interact with people in person instead of through social media.  Getting out in the real world requires a lot of mental maneuvering.  Studies also suggest that people who get out and enjoy life have healthier brains as they age.

Follow these eight steps and your memory should improve within a few weeks.

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