You don't need expensive gadgets or computer games to help keep your brain healthy and ticking over. Try these simple and easy to follow tips to today for better brain health!
You don’t need expensive gadgets or computer games to help keep your brain healthy and ticking over. In fact there are lots of small simple things you can try today to boost your brain power.
Keeping your brain healthy is so important and, according to the Guardian, the more you train, use and test your brain, the better it will perform. There is also some evidence that suggests that people with more education or skills have lower incidence rates of dementia.
If you’re worried you’re slowing down, there are lots of small changes you can make to keep you thinking fit. From ideas as simple as enjoying a crossword at the weekend or eating more brain-boosting superfoods, all of these are achievable and easy to slot into your daily (busy!) life.
But first, have you seen this simple trick on how to test your brain? You can do it right now!
To find out more about Alzheimer’s, you can visit the Alzheimer’s society website, where you can find out more about the symptoms and diagnosis of the disease.
Try our top 10 tips on boosting your brain power today (and let us know in the comments box if you have any of your own tips to add!)
According to scientists at the University of Tokyo, you can find out how healthy your brain is simply by balancing on one leg!
In their latest study, the researchers asked 1300 participants with an average age of around 67 to stand on one foot with their eyes open for as long as they could. People who found it hard to balance for more than 20 seconds were found to have the worst cognitive test scores, and medical prevelances that gave them the highest likelihood of experiencing a stroke - both indicators of lesser brain health.
One-leg standing time is a simple measure of postural instability and might be a consequence of the presence of brain abnormalities,’ study leader Yasuharu Tabara explained.
So now you know how to test your brain, but what about keeping it young and healthy? Read on to find out our top 10 tips on boosting your brain power!
(Psst... Anyone else already up on one leg and testing themselves?)
A recent study showed that people who do crosswords are two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer's compared to people who just watch TV because they are engaging their brain and having to think about the answers and work out the solutions logically, rather than absorbing information passively, like you would do if you were watching the television. You'll find crosswords in most magazines and newspapers.
What better reason for putting down the remote and picking up the paper?
People who can speak two or more languages are said to be more imaginative, flexible and get distracted less. Although it may be easier to pick up languages when you're younger, it's never to late to learn.
See if your local college or library runs classes, or you can search for courses online at Hotcourses.com
There's nothing worse then a routine to give you brain drain, so why not
try mixing things up a little? Your mind needs variety to stay healthy
and even small changes will help keep your brain active.
Why not try some of these small changes:
- Take a different route when you're going to the shops or taking the kids to school - Brush your teeth with the other hand - Try out new recipes for dinner
Omega-3 is a fatty acid found in oily fish, like mackerel, salmon and sardines. It helps reduce the risk of heart-disease and now scientists say it can help your mind too. About 30% of the brain's cells are made up of Omega-3, but a diet of processed food can destroy them and stop the cells from being as efficient as they should be. Eating foods rich in Omega-3 helps top up the brain.
Aerobic exercise, like dancing, has been shown to improve the fitness of your brain as well as your body. By learning this new skill, you'll be exercising both sides of brain - the logical left side and your right side, which looks after your creativity.
Studies have shown that exercising three times a week reduces the risk of dementia by up to 40%.
The nation's favourite drink can also help slow the arrival of Alzheimer's in people who are susceptible to the disease. Drinking a cup of tea per day has been shown to stop the chemicals which destroys part of the brain, causing the disease.
Green tea is even better because it stops certain proteins forming in the brain, which have been linked to Alzheimer's. Both also contain antioxidants, which help fight cancer.
The effects of alcohol can be seen after the first few drinks - the slurred speech, slowed reactions. After a long session, you can experience blackouts and even unconsciousness. Drinking excessively actually shrinks your brain.
Government recommendations for women say we should have no more than 14 units of alcohol a week - that's about a small glass of wine or a pint of lager a day
Cutting stress levels is easier said then done, we know, but being able to relax is as beneficial to your mood as it is to your brain.
When you're stressed or in danger your body releases hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenaline makes your heart and reactions faster and the cortisol helps regulate your blood sugar.
This is great if you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to run away from something, but if you're producing these hormones every day, then they can damage the brain, especially the part in charge of your short-term memory.
Take 10 minutes a day to try this simple breathing exercise to help you relax:
- Lie on your back or sit in a comfy chair in a quiet place and slowly relax your body - Begin by breathing in slowly through your nose, filling the lower part of your chest, the middle and all the way to the top. Do this slowly over eight to 10 seconds - Hold your breath for two seconds before relaxing and letting the air out - Wait another few seconds before repeating this
By concentrating on your breathing you're not thinking about the washing up or the bills or anything else that may be worrying you.
Good news, eating more can actually help improve your brain! We're not encouraging you to stuff you face with chocolate every five minutes, but eating small meals frequently can help regulate the amount of blood sugar. Low blood sugar makes you feel tired and irritable and sluggish.
A study has shown that having lots of friends can reduce the risk of developing dementia in the elderly. The research showed that people who don't have many friends or relatives to talk to were one and a half times more likely to suffer because they don't get enough emotional or