Reading, Playing Word Games Can Help Keep Your Brain Healthy As You Age
Reading, playing word games, or learning a new skill are just some of the ways you can keep your brain healthy as you age, according to Dr. Gary Small, Chair of Psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center and Behavioral Health Physician in Chief for Hackensack Meridian Health.
Dr. Small, who is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board, talked about “Healthy Aging: Brain Fitness for Healthy Adults” at the most recent Virtual Wellness Tour hosted by Herbalife Nutrition Philippines.
He likened the brain to the muscle, “which performs better when it gets regular exercise.”
“Mental stimulation has been shown to activate neural circuits and is associated with lower Alzheimer’s risk Educational achievements, bilingualism, or doing puzzles have all been shown to lower the risk of dementia. Memory training can also improve memory recall and help you maintain higher cognitive performance for five or more years,” Dr. Small said.
The Role Exercise and Balanced Nutrition in Brain Health
Apart from engaging in mentally stimulating activities, being active and healthy also helps with brain health. According to him, pairing exercise with a balanced diet supports both brain health and cardiovascular health.
“A healthy brain diet consists of eating foods rich in Omega-3 fats like fish and nuts; antioxidant-dense fruits and vegetables like blueberries and artichokes; and avoiding processed food,” Dr. Small said.
He, however, reminded that nutrition and exercise alone don’t prevent the onset of disease or reverse the effects of aging.
More Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy
Talking to your doctor about managing your wellness and the medicines you take is also important to in keeping your brain healthy. Likewise, creating a healthy environment by limiting your exposure to smoke, smog, mold, and other toxins as well as avoiding information overload, TV addiction, and clutter is also good for your brain health.
Having a positive outlook, getting adequate sleep, and nurturing a strong community that you can rely on can also help in keeping your brain healthy as you age.
Dr. Small is Chair of Psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center and Behavioral Health Physician in Chief for Hackensack Meridian Health. He was a Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA where he also directed the university’s Longevity Center. He has studied and developed lifestyle and memory training programs for improving cognition and healthy aging, which have made available throughout the U.S. and abroad in senior centers, hospitals, and other community sites.
He has authored over 500 scientific works and received numerous awards and honors, including the American Psychiatric Association’s Weinberg Award for Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry. Scientific American magazine named him one of the world’s top 50 innovators in science and technology.
marichugalosApril 11, 2021 at 10:37 am
Ganto ako. Minsan nakaka stress nadin talaga lalo na ang sitwasyon ngayon kung iisipin. Kaya ginagawa ko nililibang ko sarili ko through reading blogs, playing puzzle and scrumble word in game apps.
Antoniette Sanchez DavidApril 11, 2021 at 1:07 pm
Yes ma super ganda nitong word games kasi mas nahahasa nito ang utak mo sa mga words na mabubuo or mababasa mo kahit sa kids maganda din to
Karen Joy Mangalino DabanApril 11, 2021 at 3:12 pm
Wow..Tama pala ang ginagawa kong pagbabasa ng mga blogs it helps a lot..Sometimes I also used to write my content din pero sa diary lang..Minsang.playing games naman..
Rose-Ann ObejasApril 11, 2021 at 7:32 pm
Agree with this Ma,mas nagiging active ang brain natin pag may ginagawa tayong activities like playing words games.Mas naaliw din ang sarili natin mas nagiging relax ang pag iisip at turns into a good mood.
Lyka MitraApril 11, 2021 at 8:09 pm
Dapat po talaga always magbasa at sumagot ng mga puzzles or crosswords para mapanatiling sharp ang ating mga brain.
yanpaladquisol17April 12, 2021 at 8:28 am
Napaka importante na healthy din ang brain para less memory loss Lalo pag nagkaka edad na ❤️
Jhie VinasApril 12, 2021 at 3:37 pm
Ngayon ko lang nalaman ito ma. Maganda pala ang pagbabasa at paglalaro ng mga word games. Medyo tamad kasi akong magbasa ngayon nalaman ko na ito magbabasa na ako ng pa unti unit.
Meng SungaApril 14, 2021 at 1:12 pm
The best talaga na hobby ang pagbabasa at paglalaro ng mga games na ganito para lalong mas mahasa ang talino, nakakabawas din ng stress ang pagbabasa. Thanks for sharing this momsh.