How To Keep Mentally Fit As You Age

When you are young and mentally fit, you will perhaps never be able to comprehend that your memory, intelligence and overall mental fitness can actually decline as you age. However, as we grow older, our mental sharpness will gradually decline (and at an increasing rate) if we fail to keep on top of things.

Memory decline starts to accelerate when we are in our 50's, and the immediate result will be a reduction in short term memory. For example, you may go to do something important, but then completely forget what it was you were going to do. After this, we can experience an absence of mental health through the rapid destruction of brain cells. 

The best way to protect your brain as you grow old is to always remain mentally active throughout your life. Below you will find some specific guidelines:

1. Keep a consistent level of physical exercise throughout your life.

This can include even the most basic exercises such as walking from one end of the room to the other. It does not need to be strenuous exercise, but just 15-20 minutes worth every 2-3 days to make sure your body stays in shape. Also, what is good for your cardiovascular system and body will be good for your brain, because the level of nutrients which can be supplied to the brain through wider arteries will produce a substantial cumulative effect throughout your life.

2. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables throughout your life.

This has been said time and again, but it's amazing how many people fail to realise or appreciate the value of fruit and veg. You do not have to substitute your whole diet for the green stuff, but merely make it as an addition to it. For example, if you are going to have fish and chips, have some peas with it and a few slices of tomato for example. The value of this would be to provide your body with much needed cell protecting anti-oxidants. Over many years, the absence of anti-oxidants can have a seriously drastic effect on your intelligence, IQ and mental sharpness. It will also lead to increased aging. Fruit and vegetables is therefore to be treated with the utmost respect and reverence as a valid way to improve our lives.

3. Consume more fish. In particular oily fish.

This will provide your brain with Omega 3 fatty acids, which will balance with the more abundant Omega 6. The effect of this would be that your brain will become much more flexible and adaptable to mental change. This is because the brain as a whole is a complex piece of fat, and the more balanced the fats in the brain become, the quicker it can change its composition.

4. Consume no alcohol.

Alcohol kills brain cells. Enough said. Even a mild drink here and there can make you lose brain cells. This is because alcohol is a mild poison which infects the body. The brain cells can actually be lost in vital areas of our memory. For example, something which we have learned and have known inside out for years, might become hazy in our minds after a few binge drinking sessions. What is more, is that the effect over several years is very noticeable through the decline in mental performance.

5. Strive to become educated, and continue to learn new things in your life.

This basically goes down to the phrase: "use it or lose it". Use your brain and strive to learn and understand new things, and you will find that your brain will stay in tip top shape. Don't just read books and expect to increase your IQ and mental sharpness back to its peak. Do things like mental puzzles and crosswords. Incorporate this into your life. For example, do the maths on the price of your shopping in your head, and see if it is right when you go to the checkout counter.

6. Always have a good night's sleep.

Lack of sleep by even an hour or two over a few years, will lead to a decrease in intelligence and mental sharpness over the years. We tend to think that a lapse of sleep here and there doesn't have a long term implication, but we fail to see the bigger picture and the situation that could arise from years of sleep abuse.

What To Expect

It is natural for the mind to remain sharp throughout our lives, so long as we are living a natural life. This natural life is through following the 6 steps above. The suggestions are both easy to implement, and will help to protect the integrity of your brain into old age.

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