10 Ways To Boost Your Cognitive Fitness
Cognitive fitness and ability has become a hot topic in recent years. We are all aware of the seemingly inevitable decline that happens to our cognitive fitness and abilities, as we get older. We are repeatedly told how important it is to maintain our mental function in the same way as with our physical health.
The brain is a muscle; it needs to exercise to keep it in tiptop shape. However, this is easier said than done. How can be maintain and even improve our cognitive fitness? Here are some ideas on how to keep those brain cells working well.
Research has shown that physical activity is not only good for the body, but the brain as well. Exercise such as swimming can increase levels of particular hormones that are important for cognitive abilities such as memory.
- Brain training games
There is a wealth of brain training games and activities available now; all these are aimed at improving cognitive ability. Activities such as puzzles are important for the brain and if completed regularly, can improve cognitive function. Research has also shown such brain training games can even help to prevent or delay the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- Listening to music
Music of any sort can help to improve cognitive functions, and it doesn’t matter what the music is. If this is combined with exercise, it becomes even more effective.
Sleep is so essential for many functions in the body, both physical and mental. If we want to improve our cognitive ability, a good nights’ sleep is essential. Without sufficient sleep, our body is unable to function at its best, and cognitive function is no different from any other function the body performs.
Doodling might seem like a waste of time or a childish hobby, but research has found it can be highly beneficial. Doodling helps to keep the brain stimulated and active when otherwise it might not be. The saying ‘use it or lose it’ is definitely applicable to the brain and cognitive abilities.
- Take up a new hobby
Whatever the new hobby or activity is, the act of engaging in something new is going to be beneficial for your cognitive fitness. When you start doing something new you build new, connections in your brain and this can not only prevent cognitive decline, but also can improve cognitive abilities.
- Reduce stress
Stress has a number of negative effects on the body, both physical and mental; cognitive fitness is no different. Stress becomes a distraction and causes you to be run down and exhausted. If your brain is busy dealing with the source of stress and you’re exhausted, your cognitive abilities are inevitably going to suffer.
Drinking coffee has a reputation for having a negative effect, while this is still true, caffeine in the short term can increase cognitive fitness. Caffeine can help you focus and perform when you need to. Importantly, caffeine only produces a temporary boost to cognitive performance.
- Be more sociable
Research has repeatedly shown that humans are sociable creatures and need social interaction to function effectively; cognitive abilities are no different. Many studies have found that being more sociable and having more relationships with people can prevent a decline in memory.
- Eat more brain friendly foods
We all know the importance of a healthy diet for our waistlines and overall health. However, certain foods such as fish, fruit, vegetables, and green tea are hugely beneficial for our cognitive fitness. Equally, omitting certain foods from your diet such as saturated fat are also beneficial. Essentially, it is important to get a balanced diet if you want to improve your cognitive abilities.