posted from: http://www.fitbrains.com/blog/better-brain-function-lifetime/
Do you want your brain to perform at its best, in the present and in the future? How can you achieve this? Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study of 17 “superagers,” seniors who have the brain function of 20 year olds. The scientists searched for key differences between superager brains and regular brains. And, if so, whether the findings could help improve brain function throughout one’s lifetime.
Yes, there were differences and, yes, they found ways to boost brain function. Superagers brains were bigger in regions where the normal brains were smaller. Surprisingly, the areas weren’t associated with mental reasoning but, rather, linked to emotion.
How do you stimulate the emotional regions? Well, it’s not by reading a sad novel or getting angry. It’s by challenging yourself until you are outside your comfort zone, then you have to push past this stage. Interestingly, it can be either a physical like a strenuous hike or a mental effort like solving a difficult puzzle.
So what are some ways to challenge yourself?
Learn an instrument – set a deadline for when you’ll perform a song in front of your family, friends or peers
Study a new language – plan a date to read a book or to speak with a local in that language
Participate in Tough Mudder – or an equally physically challenging activity that will take you past your comfort zone. Eg. Cross Fit, cycling
Take up meditation – sign up for some classes or read a book and then practice for longer periods day after day
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