While exercising your body helps you stay healthy, there are many things you can do to keep your mind sharp, too. Sometimes your brain needs more activity and other times it needs a bit of a break. Following these simple tips will help you plan a healthy lifestyle that also boosts your brain power.
1. Get enough sleep
Getting about eight hours of sleep at night on a regular basis is one of the best ways to give your mind a chance to rest and stay fresh. You can also give your memory and decision making skills a boost by adding in a short afternoon nap.
2. Eat a healthy diet
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps your whole body stay healthy. Having fish at least once a week may further protect your mind. Look for fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna and cod.
3. Solve puzzle games
To stay sharp, your mind needs regular exercise. Put your reasoning skills to the test with games like crosswords puzzles, solitaire or Sudoku. You can also add some competition to your brain games by challenging friends with games like Mah Jongg, chess, Chinese checkers or Scrabble.
4. Try something new
It's not enough to exercise your brain with the same games and activities day in and day out. Shake things up by trying something new. Take up a creative hobby, learn a foreign language or sign up for continuing education classes.
5. Meditate daily
In addition to sleep, your brain works best when it has a chance to rest during the day. Meditating is a great way to clear your mind and reduce your stress. Start with some simple breathing exercises or just sit quietly with your eyes closed in a comfortable room. Just a few minutes a day can bring surprising results.
6. Exercise regularly
Walking, jogging, yoga, aerobics and other cardiovascular exercise does more than keep your body in shape. A regular fitness routine with plenty of cardio helps nutrients and oxygen-rich blood pump through your body and brain.
7. Stay positive
There's a lot to be said for learning to take a more positive approach to your daily life. A positive attitude reduces stress, makes it easier to sleep and improves your general mood. These things help your mind stay sharp and healthy for years to come.
8. Socialize often
Challenging your mind with different ideas also helps it stay sharp. Socializing with a wide range of people broadens your horizons. Try joining discussion groups to find plenty of mental stimulation.
9. Help your grandkids study
You may be out of school, but that doesn't mean the end of homework. Helping your grandkids study is a great way to stimulate your memory and learn something new. It's also a great way to stay involved in your grandkids' lives and be exposed to a different point of view.
10. Reminisce with friends
Sometimes looking back is good for your mind's future. Reminiscing with friends and family members helps you exercise your memory. If you have trouble staying in touch with people from your past, you can also jog your memory with photo albums or home movies.
There are many ways to keep your mind sharp, but most are already part of a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. Try these tips for yourself or share some of your own in the comments below.