Over our lifetime, the human brain has the capacity to grow. This is no different when we get older.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to grow, change and adapt. The brain can do amazing things like responding to mental and physical activities, alter itself in response to damage and be influenced by the things that we do.
With exercise, it grows stronger, similar to how a muscle grows from working out. Scientists also say that what we do affects the way it works.
Fortunately, this is good news as researchers try to come up with ways to improve brain health, especially as it relates to cognitive diseases like dementia.
Today, the question on the minds of doctors and scientists alike is can “brain performance be improved through deliberate practice?” Even more pressing is the question of whether “neuroplasticity-based brain training and related research-to-practice innovation” can “actually impact mental health and help improve people’s lives.”
If you or your loved one is receiving Alzheimer’s care or personalized elder care and are experiencing decreased changes in brain function, Freedom Home Care lists a number of exercises below that you can do help develop greater brain fitness.
Increase your Awareness
Noticing your thoughts, experiences, and reactions is a simple way to “guide your own brain training regimen,” according to Forbes.com. Being able to determine what frustrates, anger or upsets you will help you find the exercises that could aid in your brain training.
Understand Your Challenges
Experts say not to allow a diagnosis of a mental condition or learning disability keeps you from improving your mental fitness as well. Take a look the diagnosed behaviors and try to figure out, if, at some point, a particular “weakness” was supporting a method of coping at some point in your life. If it is something that can be improved or overcome, look for ways to do so.
Most people understand that aerobic activity is good for the brain, but what they may not know is that according to doctors exercise can actually help improve verbal memory and learning. Coupled with medication, physical activity can help boost alertness and improve mood.
Through the executive functions – working memory, sequencing, inhibiting, prioritizing and sustaining attention – you can reduce impulsive behavior while increasing that capacity to learn.
Consume More Fat
Studies show that eating moderate amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in reversing many of the negative symptom experienced by people suffering from mental health conditions. Food high in Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve memory capacity or the mixture of complex ideas and abstract concepts.
Eat More Veggies
It’s a given that vegetables are good for you – but eating vegetables that vary in color is also important. It’s the pigment in the vegetables that actually can actually prevent disease and reverse inflammation.
Researchers today are still trying to figure out to how effective brain training is. There are several computer training programs currently being reviewed in how well they help maintain healthy brain function. In some studies, older participants who received brain training showed signs of improved short term and long term cognitive functioning.