Keeping Our Brains Healthy

Health & FitnessExercise & Meditation

  • Author Gord And Gertie Guide
  • Published March 31, 2012
  • Word count 477

We all know how important keeping active is for a longer and healthier life, but it's not just our body that is important. Keeping our mind healthy is crucial to aging well and living a better life as we grow older.

We have talked about academic learning and its importance for keeping our brains active but there is so much more to understand about our brain as it ages. By engaging in activities that require us to think quickly, we help stretch our brain muscles and strengthen our memory and cognitive skills which can significantly keep decline in check.

What Is Really Happening

As we age, our brain mass shrinks and there are areas of the brain shrink more so than others. Each section is responsible for specific functions that relate to specific skills such as problem solving, memory retrieval and mental agility. However depending on how often we utilize these areas, the decline may become more apparent with less use.

Illness often becomes an issue with age and each plays a role in slowing down our cognitive processing abilities. All have the tendency to fade as we grow older and depending on how we adapt to these changes, we can hasten the mental aging or slow it down.

We may think that as we age, we no longer need to keep up with technology or read the latest novel, but in engaging our minds we are rewarded with new stimuli, which keep our brains limber.

A Puzzle is Not Just a Puzzle

Doing a crossword puzzle on the ride home from work is not just a way to pass the time, you are focusing on memory retrieval and using spatial reasoning to fill in the blanks.

By playing games such as cards, chess or scrabble either physically or online, you are focusing on memory but also sharpening your cognitive skills and your hand eye coordination when you begin increasing your speed in a "practice makes perfect" style.

Being an avid reader will keep your brain agile in processing information quickly and keeping attention centered.

Keeping It Fit

Recent studies have shown that the internet has helped seniors keep mental decline at bay by introducing them to a whole new way of learning. Keeping friendships online with emails, sharing photos and reading ebooks strengthens cell networks and pathways.

By training our brains to think more and rest less, we are contributing to our health and staving off the inevitable slowing down of our cognitive skills. Physical health increases oxygen to our brains which keeps us younger and mental work is mandatory to keeping our brains properly functioning.

It is not a difficult undertaking, but it is a necessary one. Take the time to concentrate and pay attention. Focus on the tasks at hand and remember that repetition is the key to keeping those senior moments at bay.

Got a burning question about keeping our brains healthy? Grandpa Gord and Grandma Gertie put a sensible spin on expert advice, with a little humor thrown into the mix. We cover topics ranging from pets to parenting, careers to hobbies, relationships to lifestyle, finances to food, and everything in between. Visit us at for some simple and straight from the hip advice from people who've been around the block a few times.

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