Keep Your Mind Active To Keep It Healthy

by Martin Mak - Date: 2007-09-28 - Word Count: 514 Share This!

If you think that an older person can out maneuver you in a game of chess because he is more experienced, then your are making a big mistake. In a survey done in 2005, the majority of people can retain most of their mental capabilities well into their old age.

Playing a game of chess is a great mental activity. It is more than an interesting pastime. It is like teasing the brain and chess players are in fact training their brains. In one test done in Beijing China, a group of Chinese scientists set out to map the effects of a mental activity like chess on the mind. In a park where a group of 50 or more retired Chinese men congregate daily to play Chinese Chess, the researchers found that most of the men had above average mental and cognitive skills. They could hold witty and intelligent conversation and are much less prone to depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The research, spanning over 5 years conclude that the mental faculties of the group of chess-playing men showed no signs of waning as the group continued to age. If fact, their memory continued to improve.

Indeed, other scientific studies in the west show that the gray cells in the brain don't just diminish in old age, as many people believe. Research shows that as the brain is challenged, the better it will function. Conversely, you are like a couch potato, doing little mental or physical activities, then your brain will start to fail you more and more as you grow older.

The brain can be trained, for instance by reading books, challenging mental puzzles or games, mathematical problems, memory games or with brain-teasing software programs developed by psychologists. There are some memory training programs that can help you perform mental calisthenics like memorizing long chains of numbers, grocery lists or even recognizing hundreds of faces. These programs can also help you to learn a foreign language.

There are other factors however, that can contribute to your maintaining your mental agility into a ripe old age. If you had a good general education, have an active and varied lifestyle, have an energetic partner and a supportive social environment, then you have something of a head start. On the other hand, if you live a life of constant routine, dissatisfaction with your own life or a dysfunctional social environment, this can lead to a deterioration of your mental faculties.

The general agreement between researchers and scientists is that if you keep your mind active, constantly learning new things to enhance your life and the lives of those around you, then you will find that your mental health will keep in tandem with you. Your memory will improve even as you age. You'll find that your concentration will not falter as your mind becomes sharper. Happiness will then become not only a state of mind but also a by-product of your earthly existence. Your mind will be in the best possible state and a healthy mind will also lead to a healthy and vibrant physical body.

Related Tags: depression, improve memory, alzheimers, happiness, dementia, concentration, martin mak, mighty memory, state of mind

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