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Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life – MedicineNet.com
If you think that you are stuck with the brain you were born with and can do nothing to improve your intelligence or how your brain ages, you are out of step with the latest scientific findings.
“Neuroplasticity” is the new buzz word among the neuroscientists. This amazing concept means that your brain and its neurons are not set for life. Those wonderful “little gray cells” are smarter than you thought. They respond, grow, and change according to your activity patterns.
How does this translate into an everyday life? Your choices determine whether your brain stays young or grows old. Since brain fitness affects your overall health, this puts you in the driver seat as far as how you age and the quality of life you can achieve.
Five ways to keep your brain “in the groove” past 40:
Healthy Food - Fish is recommended five times a week. Add to your protein rich meal, green leafy vegetables, fruits (especially fresh berries), beans, peas, legumes, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy, healthy oils. Stay away from processed foods.
Daily Exercise - Aerobic exercise (30 minutes three or more times a week) oxygenates your blood stream and brain. It also protects your brain from losing gray matter. Weight lifting or resistance training (two or three times a week) not only specifically develops muscles but improves cognitive function… good for brain and brawn. These two types of exercise work well together for optimum brain health.
Positive Thinking - Daniel Amen, M.D. in his book, Change Your Brain, specifically recommends identifying negative thoughts and turning them into positives as a way of improving brain function. Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. in his Book, The Biology of Belief, demonstrates through scientific research that beliefs, thoughts, attitudes effect your genes and cellular life. Remember this includes brain cells. So choose to be positive!
Maintain Social Ties – According to alz.org, Alzheimers Association, “Research shows that people who are regularly engaged in social interaction maintain their brain vitality.” So reach out and get together with family and friends. Develop and enjoy your relationships for brain happiness.
Keeping Active & Learning Oriented – As you age, your brain neurons disconnect causing mental decline. However, stimulating your brain through activity and learning can reconnect neurons and even birth new brain cells. So keep on doing those crossword puzzles. Go to concerts and plays, read, write, learn a new language. Get out those board games and invite over your neighbors. Curiosity killed the cat, but for you it will pump up your brain health. When it comes to learning, the more difficult it is, the more neurons you will generate.
So no more believing the less you do the better off you are. Get active, exercise, eat right, think positively, relate – it’s all part of life and part of keeping you and your brain fit.
Mary-Anne Reed has been a writer for over 30 years. She writes about the mind-body connection, health, positive thinking, and how to become your Highest Potential Self on http://HPSelf.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/HPSelf.