Everyone, every day is aging. But today’s retirees, as well as Baby Boomers soon to retire are not content whiling away time. They want and demand more from their later years. The good news is that a hunger to learn more is an incredible asset. When you have that, it can translate to better cognitive and physical health. With the passing of time come the inevitable challenges associated with aging. But healthy, active adults can enrich their lives when they engage in learning something new each day of the week.
The frontier of our lifetime is our brain. Its neurological universe is vast and complicated. The more information we uncover about the brain, the more we understand how key the brain is to healthy aging. As we get older our brain cells deteriorate. The connections (synapses), like millions of tiny phone lines, lose their connectivity. These connections are the pathways for everything we feel, think and understand. Preventing the loss of neurons and synaptic connectivity is essential to brain health throughout life. As yet there is no guaranteed fountain of youth, but you can do many things to feel youthful and help your brain stay fit.
The brain is much like the heart – it needs to be active and fed right. Think of the brain this way – it requires exercise much in the way that the heart needs physical activity to remain strong. In an important brain health research study at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers found that the brain benefits from an increased blood supply and increased oxygen levels. The study says that aerobic exercise is key to the brain receiving sufficient blood supply and oxygen needs to sustain the activity of billion neurons firing at once. The study also found that people who were in good physical shape had brains that appeared to be healthier than participants not in good physical shape.