Many of us are looking for ways to stay young and although you can’t stop the clock, you can fight the signs of aging and the aging process with a few wise moves. The following 10 tips will help you to look and feel younger for longer.
Anti-aging tip 1: Use your brainAlthough the brain isn’t a muscle, the old ‘use it or lose it’ adage still applies. Brain scans show that when people use their brains in unaccustomed ways, more blood flows into different areas of the brain, and new neural pathways form. In a study in the journal Nature in 2004, young people were taught how to juggle. After three months, MRI scans showed enlargement of the grey matter in their brains — the part responsible for higher mental functions. When the participants in the study stopped juggling, their brains shrank again, suggesting that we need to keep our brains engaged to maintain mental agility and function. So, whether it’s a crossword puzzle, Sudoku or a university degree, trying giving your brain a challenge every day and you’ll be more likely to keep your marbles! Also, another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that more frequent participation in mentally stimulating activities can lead to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Anti-aging tip 2: Be sociableAccording to US government research, social isolation is a predictor of declining mental function in older age. Experts believe this may be down to not using a wide variety of communication skills. Research shows that people who are part of a group — whether it's a church or a book club — are healthier than solitary people when they are older, and that the wider the range of relationships (family, friends, work and so on) a person has, the less cognitive decline they will experience with aging. So, as well as tackling the crossword puzzle on your lonesome, make time in your life for shared activities — and ensure you spend time with as wide a range of people as possible.
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