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As we age so can our minds. Fortunately there are certain recreational activities that can ward off diseases, allowing us to function just as we did in our 20s.
According to a study performed by Joe Verghese, MD, chief of geriatrics at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, seniors who danced three to four times a week were 75 percent less likely to develop dementia when compared with seniors who do not dance at all. This is thought to be due to the aerobic activity that sends blood to the brain. Dancing can also be difficult so it challenges the mind, keeping it sharp.
- Learning a Second Language
Research published in the journal Neurology found that learning a second language helps to boost brain power. Study participants who were bilingual developed dementia on average four and a half years later than those who only spoke one language.
- Don’t Multitask
Humans weren’t meant to multitask. Doing so causes us to lose focus. Multitasking can overwhelm us, causing our brains to shut down. According to Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas, “Multitasking hijacks your frontal lobe.” The frontal lobe is in charge of problem-solving and decision-making processes.
- Journal About Daily Stress
Writing out your stressful thoughts can purge the brain of negative feelings that block clear thinking. Journaling is a therapeutic experience that calms people and allows them to focus on important information.
- Work With Your Hands
Activities that involve using your hands reduces stress. Less stress allows our brains return to a more youthful state. A 2013 study on knitters around the world found a correlation between knitting and cognitive function. It was found that the more people knitted, the better brain function they had.
- Think Positively About Our Contributions
Thinking well of your contribution to society can shield us from developing such diseases as Alzheimer’s. Feeling that you have a purpose allows for a positive mental state, thus allowing the mind to stay sharp.