The problem with aging is that it’s a natural process that can’t be stopped. Even though there are methods to help people look and feel younger, the fact remains that everyone will eventually get old. As people age, they lose muscle mass and bone density, and their skin gets thinner and less elastic. These changes are inevitable and cause many elderly people to experience frailty and disability.
According to the World Health Organisation, the global population of people over 60 years old is projected to grow from 901 million in 2015 to nearly 2 billion by 2050. This increase is due to improved life expectancy and declining fertility rates. In Nigeria, the proportion of the population aged 60 years and above is projected to increase from 6.4% in 2010 to 15.9% by 2050.
The aging process also results in changes in the brain. As people get older, they tend to have less brain volume and their brains process information more slowly. These changes can lead to decline in cognitive abilities, such as memory and executive functions. A recent study found that, on average, Nigerian adults aged 45-49 performed worse on cognitive tests than adults aged 20-24 years old.
Experts have however suggested a number of ways to help slow down the aging process, such as exercise and eating a healthy diet, but the aging process can ultimately not be stopped.
5 Ways to Keep the Mind Active and Sharp
It has been said that the mind is a muscle and, like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to stay sharp. The analogy is apt in many ways. Just as we need physical activity to maintain our physical health, we need mental activity to maintain our mental health. And just as we can see the effects of physical inactivity in the form of flabby muscles and poor cardiovascular health, we can see the effects of mental inactivity in the form of memory loss and poor cognitive health.
But what does it mean to “exercise” our minds?
A recent scientific study found that there are five main activities that help keep our minds sharp as we age: reading, physical activity, healthy diet, cognitive stimulation, writing and using a computer. The study, which was conducted by a team of cognitive scientists at the University of Edinburgh, found that these five activities help to “exercise” the three main components of our mental muscle: our memory, our attention, and our processing speed.
One way to keep our minds sharp is to engage in activities that promote cognitive stimulation. This can include things like puzzles, memory games, and learning new skills. By keeping our minds active, we can help to slow down the decline in cognitive function that comes with age.
In addition to cognitive stimulation, the research also showed that physical activity can also help to keep our minds sharp as we age. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and can even help to prevent age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The study also found that reading helps to exercise our memory. This is because, when we read, we are constantly building up a “mental map” of the text in our minds, which helps us to remember the information better. Writing also helps to exercise our memory, as it requires us to remember the spelling and grammar of words, as well as the order of the words in a sentence. Using a computer also helps to exercise our memory, as it requires us to remember the location of files and folders, as well as the commands we need to use to perform certain tasks.
According to the researchers, reading, writing, and using a computer also helps to exercise our attention. This is because all three activities require us to focus on a task for a sustained period of time, which helps to improve our attention span.
Finally, the study found that using a computer helps to exercise our processing speed. This is because using a computer requires us to rapidly process a lot of information, which helps to improve our processing speed.
So, if you want to keep your mind sharp as you age, make sure to include reading, writing, and using a computer in your daily routine.