Special to the Standard
Did you know what’s good for the brain is good for the body? What’s good for the body is good for the brain? The aging mind doesn’t necessarily age. It doesn’t get wrinkles or just stop working as you get older. The brain is a muscle, and like the rest of your muscles, the more you seek to strengthen and challenge the mind the stronger it gets.
There’s a misconception when it comes to the brain as you get older. Does it just shut down? Not necessarily. If a person has been affected by a stroke, for example, certain parts of their brain are affected, they physically and mentally have to re-learn simple patterns of movement. Those affected by dementia, Parkinson’s disease and brain tumours often suffer with memory related issues. Although, anyone I’ve met with these diseases is physically able. Exercise requires movement patterns that the brain has to remember. Even with some neurological impairment, these people can always connect the body in movement. How is that possible?
Any research I’ve read about the brain always encourages physical activity. Learning a new pattern challenges the brain, and it has no choice but to adapt and grow. I’ve also read that learning a new language or musical instrument is a great way to keep the mind sharp as you get older. Social interaction is also imperative. All this is designed to keep the connections in your brain as strong as possible. In fact if you don’t “use it, you lose it”, so to speak.
There’s no reason to believe, as you get older, you need to start doing less to challenge yourself. The more you do mentally and physically, so shall your body and mind follow. You are always capable of developing through exercise, learning and doing. The mind is a muscle, use it!