Why is social interaction so important?
“Research suggests an association between lifelong involvement in mentally and socially stimulating activities and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease”. Dr. Jonathan Graff-Radford, Neurologist, Mayo Clinic.
People who regularly partake in stimulating mental activities showed healthier densities of “white matter”, the parts of the brain that transmit information—than those who did not.
These brain-boosting activities listed below will help you stay mentally sharp at any age:
- Build your motor skills:Take up hobbies that involve fine-motor skills, such as knitting, drawing, painting, and juggling. People who participated in these skills increased their gray matter in regions of the brain concerned with integrating visual and motor information.
- Give your brain a daily workout: Study a foreign language, play a musical instrument or work with computers. Read the newspaper or a good book. Play card games and work crossword puzzles. The greater the challenge, the more your brain reserve will grow.
- Practice memorization:Use visualization techniques to practice memorizing names, telephone numbers, addresses, birthdays. Create rhymes and patterns to strengthen your memory connections.
- Stay socially active: Research shows that people who are regularly engaged in social interaction maintain their brain health and vitality. The more connected you are, the better you fare on tests of memory and cognition. Relationships, friends and family are key factors to happiness – and they just might be the key to brain health, so make your social life a priority.