How to Improve Brain Fitness as You Age

The brain controls a person’s ability to remember, organize and make decisions, among other things. Cognitive abilities affect one’s ability to live and thrive, and do everyday tasks. As we get older, we will notice some changes such as:

  • Have difficulty remembering names
  • Slower to find words
  • Mild decreases in attention span
  • Slower comprehension

On the other hand, aging could also bring about positive changes. Older people have greater knowledge and extensive vocabularies compared to younger individuals.

Even with some cognitive changes, there are still a lot of things older people can continue to do, such as:

  • Make new memories
  • Learn new skills
  • Learn a new language
  • Improve vocabulary

Changes in the Brain

When we age, some areas of the brain shrink particularly those that are associated with complex mental activities and learning. Communication between nerve cells in some areas of the brain may also not always be effective due to reduced blood flow in the brain, among other factors.

Changes affect one’s mental function and even healthy older people aren’t spared from it. Fortunately there are things you can do to keep your brain in excellent shape as you age.


Exercise is good for the body – this is an established fact. But did you know it also has benefits for the brain?

Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, has a positive effect on brain function on various levels. The Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia (UGA) conducted a study which showed that even 20 minutes of exercise can enhance memory function and information processing.

Exercise increases the heart rate, allowing it to pump more oxygen to the brain. Moreover it aids in the release of hormones that help promote the growth of brain cells. A study conducted at UCLA found that exercise increased growth factors in the brain—which in turn enhances new neuronal connections.

Choosing The Right Physical Exercise

Generally speaking, anything that’s good for the heart is also beneficial to the brain. Here are some tips to help you find the right one for you:

  • Exercise in the morning to increase brain activity and prepare you mentally for the day.
  • If possible, choose an activity that incorporates cardio with coordination, such as a dance class.
  • And finally, if you feel tired, don’t forget to rest and reboot.

Many gyms like YouFit provide a variety of exercise machines, equipment and activities to make sure you don’t have to stick with a single workout or exercise technique.

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