The ability of the brain to renew itself and to create new connections as a response to stimulation or to learning is called neuroplasticity. It keeps your brain sharp, keeps you capable of learning at any age, and preserves your memory. At the same time, it keeps you miles away from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Continuing to play your brain power
According to neurologists, you must continue to exercise your gray matter to keep it in top shape, lest you may start losing your brain power until, one fine day, you realize you are unable to remember things or people. You may also lose the enthusiasm to learn new things, which is again a red flag that your brain is losing its neuroplasticity.
Brain training is an important aspect of keeping your brain sharp at any age. You must challenge your brain every now and then. This you can do by enrolling for a new language class or learning to play a musical instrument or sparing one hour or so every day in games that exercise the brain.
Come out of your comfort zone
If you wish to stay sharp in mind, do not stay in your comfort zone for too long. Also, every now and then, change your routine. This challenges the brain.
Are you a right-handed person? Then, at times, write with left hand or do mundane activities with the hand that you do not use much. Say, why not operate your laptop or desktop mouse with a left hand for a change?
Research shows that challenging the brain improves neuroplasticity and brain structures in healthy individuals and in individuals dealing with mild impairment of cognitive functions.
Never stop doing mathematics!
Mathematics is not just for students. If you are an adult who completed studies decades back, chances are high that you have lost touch with it. Teach your kids math or grab your kid’s math book and start solving those sums!
Games for the brain
Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, chess, and others are great for the brain. There are plenty of other interesting brain games to play. They not only increase your cognitive abilities, but also keep you away from those dreaded brain diseases.
A healthy diet, exercise, and lots of games work together to keep your gray matter in top condition, irrespective of age.
So, don’t think a game of bridge is a waste of time or racking your brain on a puzzle is simply passing time. These are valuable activities, as you are sharpening your brain.
And the next time you get an urge to draw or sketch, or maybe play the piano or simply to travel somewhere new, just do it. Your brain’s asking for a challenge to flex its neurons. That’s how your brain stays happy and healthy.