The leading cause of early aging is cognitive decline. As your brain ages, the capacity to learn, retain, and apply new learnings in life dies. Your cognitive ability includes attention, language, reasoning, memory, and knowledge. We need healthy neurons to maintain cognitive function.
Here are eight ways to improve your cognitive ability. These tips will provide your brain with exercise and expand your potential.
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Yes, the easiest way to exercise your brain is by physically breaking a sweat. Physical activity increases the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain, reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues and diabetes. Exercise also lowers cortisol levels and increases the production of chemicals that are beneficial to neural connections.
You might even consider starting a walking routine and keep track of your steps. Fitbit offers a few options. The Fitbit Charge 2 is an Amazon Choice with over 16,000 reviews. Looking for a slimmer option? Try the Fitbit Alta, and #1 bestseller with close to 11,000 reviews. A less expensive option would be NewYouDirect’s Fitness Tracker.
Yoga has long been associated with mental and physical fitness. Doctors are now recommending it to their patients to relieve stress, improve memory, combat depression, as well as a wide variety of other illnesses. According to the University of Illinois, practicing just 20 minutes of yoga every day provides an immediate boost to your cognitive function.
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can watch yoga classes as part of Prime Video. One to consider is Yoga for Beginners which is a good introductory class.
Prime Video also has exercise classes for those with limited mobility. Chair Aerobics for Everyone is just one of the many classes offered.
Reduce Stress Levels
Intense emotions are a significant cause of cognitive decline. Stress is habit-forming, and it worsens every day. Chronic stress will destroy your brain cells, thus your cognitive abilities. Stress also has an impact on depression, and both play a role in declining cognitive abilities.
Perhaps the most effective way to combat stress is through expressing yourself. Suppressing your emotions will only make things worse, letting go provides release. If you find yourself constantly fatigued and dealing with headaches, for no apparent reason, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with stress. Meditation is an effective way to manage stress, and it also improves memory.
We have mentioned stress in other blog posts:
5 Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life
7 Healthy Methods of Coping with Chronic Stress
11 Unhealthy Methods of Coping with Chronic Stress
What You Can Do to Limit Chronic Stress and Loss of Cognitive Abilities
Don’t Let Stress Take Away Your Confidence
Provide Your Brain with a Challenge
Make time for a daily brain teaser, and make sure that you mix it up. If you enjoy Sudoku, riddles, and crosswords, alternate your use of them to provide your brain with a new challenge every day. The brain thrives on sensory stimuli. Games like Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble are also an effective way to stimulate the brain. If you don’t always have someone to play with, you can get online versions on the computer or your phone.
The Train Your Brain Challenge includes Sudoku, anagrams, golf mazes, and more. The Funster Tons of Sudoku offers over a 1,000 different Sudoku puzzles. Brain Games has a Crossword Puzzles book with more than 80 puzzles.
A few related posts:
Brain Health: 6 Essential Tips to Keep Your Brain Healthy
4 Ways to Boost Focus and Concentration
Make sure you take time to socialize, even if you don’t particularly enjoy social situations. Socializing improves mentality, which improves cognitive abilities. It helps prevent depression, isolation, and loneliness. Even as an introvert and anxiety sufferer, I know that social interaction is important, but for me, it has to be in small doses.
It feels as though insomnia is becoming a norm. Poor sleep weakens your memory and your attention span. That’s just in the short-term. Long-term sleep problems also affect your stress levels, blood pressure, and your ability to make decisions. Try to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
In these related posts we offer tips for improving your sleep:
Do You Have Anxiety? It Could Be Affecting Your Sleep
7 Rules to Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep
Massage therapy can have a positive effect on your immunity, emotions, and cognitive abilities. Because it works to relax the body and the mind, it combats stress. A mind which is in a calm and relaxed state can effectively focus, connect, coordinator, reason, and remember.
Can make it out for a massage? I bought a percussion massager that has been helpful for relieving tension in my shoulders. It’s a little heavy but does a great job.
Music provides calm and relaxation, diverting your attention from your stress and problems and allowing you to get caught up in the melody. It’s also an excellent way to express yourself, and efficient in managing moods as well as stress.
There are many different options. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you have access to many stations on their Amazon Music.
Or you could opt for Amazon Music Unlimited, which includes over 10 million songs.
Try Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial
There are a variety of supplements recommended by healthline.com which can boost your cognitive ability, including omega-3 fatty acids, phosphatidylserine, ginkgo biloba, and creatine. (Note: This is for informational purposes only. Talk with a doctor before starting any new medication or supplement to see if it is right for you.)
Neuro-Peak’s Brain Support Supplement includes DMAE, Bacopa monnieri, phosphatidylserine, Rhodiola rosea extract, and ginkgo biloba extract. It has over 5800 product reviews, with the majority giving it a 4 or 5-star rating.
To recap, a few ways to help you improve your cognitive ability are to exercise, reduce stress levels, provide your brain with a challenge, get social, get sleep, try a massage, enjoy music, and supplements.
Your brain health is important. Make sure you take time for you. Proper care now can prevent issues in the future.