The brain is an amazing organ.
It controls everything from our thoughts and emotions to our movement and sensation.
The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, and it’s also the one that never stops changing and growing.
Yet we tend to think of the brain as something fixed, unchanging and unyielding — a kind of “brick-and-mortar” machine.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
The brain is constantly changing in response to your environment, the activities you do and the people you interact with. And as you age, these changes can have a significant impact on your brain health.
There’s no doubt that the aging process takes its toll on the brain. But there are things you can do to preserve your cognition.
In this guide, we will explore the aging brain research and offer tips on how to keep your mind sharp.
Chapter #1: Neuroplasticity
📕 Read about neuroplasticity and how to rewire your brain
The brain contains about 100 billion neurons and trillions of synapses, all working together to form the networks that make up our thoughts, memories, feelings and actions. The brain’s intricacy is so vast that scientists can only just begin to understand how it works.
And yet the one thing we do know for sure is that the brain is constantly changing and rewiring itself in response to your experiences. This ability of the brain to change and adapt throughout our lives – a quality known as neuroplasticity – is what allows you to learn new skills, remember old memories, and recover from brain injury.
As you age, neuroplasticity doesn’t just stop – the brain continues to change in response to our experiences and the environment around us. Which means you can follow our tips to boost your brain plasticity.
Chapter #2: Memory & Aging
📕 Read about the 7 tips to improve your memory
Memory loss isn’t inevitable. The brain can be trained and nurtured to stay sharp at any age.
The hippocampus (the part of your brain responsible for memory) has been found to grow new cells throughout life – this means you don’t have to lose cognitive function as a result of aging if you learn new skills.
According to the “use it or lose it principle”, it’s important to be mentally active to keep your memory functioning at its best. By following our memory tips and keeping your mind engaged, you can enjoy a healthy, sharp memory well into old age.
Chapter #3: Lifelong Learning
📕 Read about the 5 benefits of lifelong learning
One way to keep the aging brain healthy is by continuing to learn throughout your life. Just like the rest of your body, the brain benefits from exercise. Older adults who engage in activities that stimulate the mind are less likely to experience age-related cognitive decline.
Plus, doing things that challenge the brain on a regular basis can not only help maintain cognitive function well into your golden years, but if you challenge yourself with things that you’re passionate about, it can also skyrocket your sense of fulfillment and purpose.
No matter how you choose to do it, lifelong learning is an important part of keeping the aging brain healthy and sharp. So don’t be afraid to try something new and follow our lifelong learning tips – your brain will thank you for it.
Chapter #4: Nutrition & Brain Health
It’s no secret that the foods you eat can have a powerful impact on the health of your entire body. And your brain is no different.
In fact, the foods you eat can either help to protect your brain from the effects of aging or contribute to the decline of your cognitive abilities. That’s why it’s so important for older adults to eat a brain-healthy diet.
To boost your brain health, you need to eat a variety of healthy foods. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on these brain-healthy foods.
Chapter #5: Develop a Growth Mindset
📕 Read about the benefits of developing a growth mindset
It’s time to start adopting a growth mindset and change the way you think about getting older. With a growth mindset, you can see aging not as a decrease in ability or productivity, but as an opportunity for continued learning and growth.
With the right attitude and approach, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. So let’s explore how you can make the switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset and start living your best life.
By following our four steps for developing a growth mindset, you’ll avoid the typical sedentary lifestyle and, instead, turn your retirement into a robust one full of passion and purpose.
Chapter #6: Protect Against Cognitive Decline
There’s no need to panic if you hear the term “aging brain.” It doesn’t mean your brain is doomed. In fact, the aging brain is quite resilient and there are things you can do to protect your brain health.
While many people experience a gradual decline in cognitive function as they age, you don’t have to resign yourself to a future of memory lapses and confusion. Just follow our tips to curb the impact of the aging brain and literally protect your head against poor cognitive health.
Chapter #7: Alzheimer’s Prevention
Alzheimer’s is the only top-ten cause of death in the United States that cannot be cured or even slowed. It can also hack away at your brain 18 years before showing any symptoms.
But recent breakthroughs have given us new hope for the future – you can proactively reduce your risk of the terrible disease and better prepare yourself for if or when the symptoms finally hit.
We now know more about the disease than ever before, and that knowledge is leading to new treatments and approaches to care. With the right support, people with Alzheimer’s can live fulfilling lives.
And even more importantly, an overall healthy lifestyle could curb its impact.
Positive Change is a Choice
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is largely up to you.
You can harness the power of neuroplasticity to keep your brain healthy and active.
So, what does this mean for you?
It means that you have the power to age gracefully, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping your mind active.
The bottom line is that change is possible at any age. While vibrant cognitive function isn’t guaranteed for everyone, it’s up to you to make the choice for positive change.
So choose wisely and be sure to take advantage of all the resources available to you as you work towards keeping your mind healthy and active for years to come.