4 Ideas for Boosting Cognitive Function at Any Age


| 9/19/2017 9:51:00 AM


Tags: Brain Health, Sleep, Exercise, Memory, Anti-Aging, Sara Parker,

You've probably thought that you should be doing more for your health, especially your mental health. In this fast-paced and stressful world, it's easy to put your health to the side of your professional and personal life. But getting chores done and stressing over work at the expense of your mental health has long-term effects. No matter how old you are, you should be working to boost your cognitive function. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

two older people doing gentle yoga
Photo by Shutterstock.

Exercise

People are becoming more and more sedentary, which not only affects their physical health but also their brain function. But it can be difficult to get up and move even when you know it's important, so you need to find some motivation. Get a smart activity watch that tells you how many steps you've taken, how many calories you've burned and what your heart rate is to get an idea of how much you're moving every day. When you're sitting for long periods of time at work, use the watch to remind you to take a short walk down the hall or around the building. Use it as motivation to go to the gym to miss traffic on your commute home. There are watches that meet every need, too. If you're worried about falling or experiencing an emergency while you're exercising, GreatCall's Lively Mobile has a built-in medical alert system that can be used to secure medical attention, which will help you feel safe.

Learn

A great way to boost your cognitive function is to learn something new. Just like your heart and lungs need exercise to get stronger, your brain needs new challenges. Pick up a new hobby that requires some brain power. For example, you could learn how to code or learn a new language. Take an art class at the local community college or learn how to make something from scratch. The more you challenge different parts of your brain, the stronger it will be.

Do Puzzles

Even though sitting down to work on a brain puzzle is sedentary, it can force your brain to work in different ways than normal. It also can help you increase your memory and retention rates. There are websites and apps dedicated to brain puzzles, like Lumosity, but a good old book and pencil works well, too. You can do crosswords, Sudoku and other types of puzzles to work out your brain muscles.

Get Some Sleep

One of the best things you can do for your brain function is get some sleep. Your brain works on consolidating learning and memory when you're sleeping, so it's an active part of your day even if you don't realize it. Researchers think that sleep may be important for this process because there is more energy available for it to use or because there are simply fewer distractions. Either way, your body not only needs rest to repair your sore muscles but to make your brain work better.

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