Preventing Age-Related Mind Deterioration
Aging is inevitable. Over time, due to various factors, our minds deteriorate, which can cause memory loss. The scientific reason behind this lies in our DNA. Our chromosomes are where all of our genetic material is located. At the end of each chromosome is something called a telomere. Telomeres protect your chromosomes from deterioration. Nobel prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn discovered that the better protected your telomeres are, the lower your chance of getting diseases like Alzheimer’s are.
To stop the erosion of your telomeres, you can exercise, do mentally stimulating activities, and avoid long-term chronic stress.
Exercising can sometimes seem daunting. Remember that you don’t have to spend hours at the gym, but try to exercise a few times a week. When working out, try to do different kinds of exercises. Break up cardio with weight-bearing activities. Cardio can be running, cycling, walking, or using an elliptical. For weight bearing activities, only lift what you can. Never push yourself past your point of comfort when exercising. Hand held weights are a great option, and you can buy them at your local superstore.
Mentally Stimulating Activities
What people find mentally stimulating is specific to them. Some common activities include puzzles, like sudoku, crossword, or other brainteasers. If working with your hands is more appealing crocheting, or sewing are good options. Take up gardening, cooking, painting, or even volunteering. The key is finding an activity you enjoy. If you are doing something that is difficult for you, it may stress you out, which is the opposite of what these activities are meant for. Challenge yourself to do your selected activities regularly.
Blackburn studied women who were under stress for a variety of reasons and found that the longer they experienced the stress, the more their teleromes wore down. It is impossible to completely avoid stress. But you should try to minimize it. In addition to working out your body, work out your mind as well. Studies have shown people who meditate show telomere improvement. Meditation relaxes the body and mind, which reduces stress. Taking deep breaths, centering yourself, and reminding yourself that everything is fine will help reduce stress as well. If meditating isn’t your thing, try beginner’s yoga. Many yoga studios welcome newcomers, and beginner classes are usually focused on relaxation and breathing.
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