As we reach the age of 50 most of us would probably have some degree of impaired memory, experts say. During aging, one’s ability to recall information may start to decline. The good news is that there are ways to avoid or reduce this memory loss from happening. In fact, a person can certainly be smarter as they get older. Does this seem too good to be true? Here is how to apply it to your life.
What Happens to Your Brain as You Age
A study was conducted to test the memory of people from different age groups. Participants of the study were asked to memorize 75 words as they read the list out loud for five times. The results showed that the 18-year old participant scored 54, the 45-year-old participant scored 47 while the 65-year-old person only had 37.
Dr. David Weeks, a neuro-psychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital says that this decline in memory is not caused by death of brain cells. Human beings lose as many as 10,000 brain cells each day by the time they reach 40 years old. However, studies reveal that majority of memory problems that the older population has is largely caused by lack of motivation, poor concentration, stress and anxiety.
Another reason why aging individuals experience memory decline is the fact that blood circulation will tend to reduce or slow down as they get older and this causes a reduced supply of oxygen into the brain cells. This is why experts recommend that people must exercise their bodies and their brains on a regular basis.
A thirty-minute exercise done for at least three times a week can do wonders to keep your mind sharp. This is because an individual’s brain works a lot like a human muscle. It needs to be used on a regular basis for it to function at an optimum level, truly, “use it or lose it”.
Changing Our Misconceptions about the Aging Brain
Many of us think that our brain’s performance will only be at its peak while we are still young and that its ability naturally declines as we age. But, if we truly want to experience an improvement in our cognitive health we must debunk such a limiting belief. Aging is not a disease. The brain’s performance does not have to decline as human beings get older.
Every person should be conscious about maintaining brain health. Lifestyle choices must also be geared towards improving its performance at any age. We must remember that age is not a sole predictor of impaired cognitive abilities in mature individuals.
Brain Performance Strengthens as We Age
It is true that we lose some of our cognitive skills as we age such as the quantity of learning capacity and speed in learning new things. However, experts say that a healthy aging brain still has the capability to improve as it continues to draw on its vast knowledge acquired through the whole of life. Add to that all the wisdom gained from experiences that play a crucial role in critical reasoning and decision-making skills.
Research shows that the majority of individuals aged 85 years old and above show great potential for making sound decisions, learning new things and of manifesting a well-preserved intellect.
As we grow older we must keep in mind that the brain is capable of adapting to whatever we use it for and how we use it. Therefore, we should also exert a conscious effort towards knowing which habits help improve the performance of the brain and which habits are detrimental. Adherence to healthy lifestyle choices and avoidance of toxic habits will definitely help age-proof the brain while also contributing to increased life expectancy.