Your brain is central to all of your thoughts, memories, behavior, judgment, reasoning, mood, and so much more. It is therefore critical that you do all that you can to slow down its aging process.

In what follows, are ways to slow down the aging of your brain:

1. Do not smoke –

There are so many reasons not to smoke. Another one to add to the list is the negative effects it has on your brain. Smoking increases the development of atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) in your blood vessels, including those in your brain. This plaque buildup then reduces the amount of oxygen getting to your brain cells.

2. Exercise your brain –

As an adult, you have learned how to create routines and methods of remembering things. However, you can get stuck in a rut of using your mind in the same way that requires little effort. Your brain is made of a number of different neural pathways, and when you do not change things up for it, your brain is not given the opportunity to exercise itself.

Your brain is amazing in that it can create new neural pathways, and adapt as you stimulate it. Stimulation of your brain is important in adulthood to build and strengthen these pathways. Ways to do this include learning new things. For example, if you do not know how to create a website, but it is of interest to you, this is a good example of one way to challenge your brain. Another idea for people who play musical instruments is to learn a new song. If you are not musically-inclined, consider learning a new language. Basically, anything that will stretch your mind is a great way to exercise it. You can even take a different route home from work, as this forces you to use your mind and plan which street to take next.

3. Eat a healthy diet –

Limit saturated fats and trans fats in your diet. Also be sure to cut down and limit your consumption of sugar. When you ensure that you are eating healthy foods and not consuming the wrong kinds of calories, you can also keep your weight in check. Studies have shown that when you reduce the calories you consume, it reduces your brain’s aging as you get older.

Be sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors. This will help ensure that you are getting antioxidants that fight free radical damage, which is responsible for aging of your cells. In particular, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are important in reducing the chances of developing age-related brain diseases.

4. Exercise your body –

When you exercise, it increases blood flow throughout your body, including your brain. Studies have shown that exercise can keep your mind younger. It can also be helpful to your brain to include exercises that require coordination and concentration such as martial arts, aerobics or dance classes.

5. Visit your doctor and optometrist regularly –

There are many conditions that can affect your brain’s health such as high blood pressure, which can result in mini strokes and cognitive decline. Both your doctor and optometrist play an instrumental role in detecting the potential for problems early on.

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