iLocal News Archives

8 ways to exercise your brain


By Lynn C. Allison From Newsmax

Your brain responds to stimulation and exercise, just like the rest of your body. The old saying that “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” also applies to improving cognitive function. So, it is just as important to establish a fitness routine for your brain as it is to give your body a workout.

Brett Osborn, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and board-certified neurosurgeon from Jupiter, Florida, says that the aging process is partially rooted in the brain. “In other words, if your brain ages at an accelerated rate, then so does the body. So, treat your brain right, and you’ll slow the progression of aging.”

Here, according to Eat This, Not That!, are Osborn’s brain-boosting exercises and other tips to keep your brain sharp.

  1. Stimulate your sense of smell. Most of us don’t associate our sense of smell with brain health, but Osborn says that new odors help stoke the neurological pathways that build memories and reduce neuroinflammation, which causes neurodegenerative disease. Use a diffuser at home and experiment with essential oils to stimulate your sense of smell.
  2. Brush your teeth with your nondominant hand. This stimulates synapse formation throughout the brain, growing and rewiring new neurons and pathways.  
  3. Stand on one foot for 30 seconds. Osborn says that performing this exercise daily helps improve the vestibular or balance centers of the brain. Practicing balance also prevents falls which can be dangerous as we get older. Try combining the tooth-brushing exercise with balancing which works especially well if you have an electric toothbrush with a 30-seocnd timer.
  4. Do strength-training exercises. Lifting weights illuminates large motor-pathways in the brain and spinal cord. It also lowers cortisol, our primary stress hormone, which helps facilitate sleep.
  5. Break a sweat. Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk for cognitive decline, says Dr. Gary Small, a noted expert on brain aging and co-author of “Two Weeks to a Younger Brain.”
  6. Catch some quality ZZZ’s. Research has found “significant association between sleep disordered breathing and the accumulation of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association. See a health care professional if you have trouble sleeping.
  7. Do word games and read. Crossword puzzles and other word games help challenge your attention, memory, and ability to problem solve. Osborne says that leisure reading is also good for the brain because it allows you to learn new ideas.
  8. Stay connected and be social. Keeping up with friends and social circles helps keep your mind working. Socializing has been linked to a decreased risk for depression and a high quality of life. “It should be of no surprise to learn that socialization is integral to the culture of Blue Zone regions,” says Osborn. “In places like Ikaria, Greece and Okinawa, Japan, where there is a disproportionate number of 90-year-olds, elderly citizens socialize until late in the evening, dance and simply enjoy life.” Osborn says that socialization makes us feel good and boosts our brain power because it is part of our humanness.

© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

For more on this sttory go to: NEWSMAX


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *