The brain is a muscle, and just like any muscle, it takes exercise to ensure it performs at its best.
Age UK, along with leading scientists and researchers, have created a guide to ‘Staying Sharp’ as we age. It is packed full of things we can all do to help protect the brain and thinking skills as we age.
The brain has three main jobs.
- Managing your unconscious or ‘automatic’ functions, such as heartbeat, breathing, digestion and control of body temperature.
- Managing your conscious or ‘motor’ functions, such as movement, gesturing, balance, posture and speech.
- Thinking, emotions, behaviour and senses (e.g. sight, sound and touch).
This section of the guide goes into detail about the third job, explaining how this works so we can protect our thinking skills as we age.
Just as our bodies change with age, so our thinking skills change too. This section explains how normal cognitive ageing affects us all. It examines whether our brains all age the same, what affects our lifestyle and other factors can have on our thinking skills as we age, and how we can build resilience and protect our brains.
This section explains the actions we can take to stay sharp. There is a lot of conflicting information out there from fish oils to physical activity, from B vitamins to brain training, to opening the newspaper! Age UK have checked the validity of all these claims to work out which advice we can trust, and exactly what we should ALL be doing to help improve our brain health.
This guide is a brilliant resource that you and your loved one can benefit from. Next time you visit, why not bring a tablet with you and complete the ‘How Well Do You Know Your Brain’ test, it could have some enlightening results for you both!