How many times have you reached for the calculator when you know you could have easily done the computation mentally? This illustrates the modern generation’s reliance on technology for day-to-day activities. While strides in science have doubtlessly made our modern lives easier, in the process they have also given the brain too much vacation time it does not need. As you grow older, your mental activities start getting even scarcer. Biologically, your brain begins to decline. Thus, challenging your brain to exercise is even more important. It is vital keep your brain from just wasting away.
The challenge of old age
Health experts predict that by 2040, the number of people afflicted with age-related conditions such as dementia and short-term memory loss is expected to reach 84 million. This is partly due to the new generations’ tendency to watch a lot of television and expose themselves to similarly mind-numbing activities. The brain is just like any instrument no matter how potentially powerful it is. If you don’t use it as much, it gets rusty and eventually begins malfunctioning. In this light, brain fitness is just as important as physical fitness.
How to rectify old age with brain exercises
Fortunately, a study has revealed that performing short brain trainings has lifelong benefits as people get older. Something as mundane as regularly answering the Sunday paper crossword puzzle can have effects that you can feel up to 5 years after you start the habit. When you do it more often, the benefits are more pronounced. Think about this fact when you’re choosing between watching television and reading a good book.
Reading mentally challenging material and playing board games such as Scrabble, chess, or even Monopoly, stimulate more parts of your brain to function. In contrast, a normal person uses less than 25% of his or her brain.
Additionally, performing these mental exercises will improve your overall well-being, make you feel positive about things, and even help eliminate depression. After all, the quality of life is irrefutably more important than how long it lasts.
It is a popular perception that stress makes you look older. However, relatively unknown is the fact that stress actually kills neurons and reduces the rate of creation of new ones. This tangibly links stress and brain fitness.
Other forms of brain training exercises such as meditation, simple relaxation, and listening to audio stimulation create certain brain waves to make you relax and think clearer. At its most relaxed state, the brain is at its best form to function properly. Moreover, reducing stress through brain training is deemed the easiest way to do it.
Brain fitness is not the end-all and be-all of ensuring a happy retirement life. But coupled with physical fitness, it can spell the difference between living a grumpy, absentminded existence and a contented, healthy one during your advanced years.