USE IT OR LOSE IT

You may have heard the phrase and really it is true –  and can be said of so many things in your life.
When referring to physical exercise, put quite simply, when you work your muscles in exercise you build strength also known as  hypertrophy and conversely,  if you stop using your muscles you lose strength otherwise known as atrophy.
But worry not, our super smart bodies have amazing muscle memory and soon remember what they were capable of.  Just remember that if you have taken some time out of training, ease yourself back in gently to avoid unnecessary injury.  Put an emphasis on stretching exercises for joint flexibility.
The same came be applied to brain function.  Our brains make neurones throughout our lives and this means we can keep improving cognitive function by exercising our brains in the same way as our bodies.  Reading, crosswords, writing, quizzes and puzzles amongst other things keep the old grey matter working which is so important in the fight to keep us young in mind.
So often you see the older generation decline rapidly when they hit retirement and have made no plans to continue using brain function.  At this stage, we need to encourage them to take up some simple brain activation exercises.
Books not only expand our minds, but they quite literally improve our mental age.  Puzzles, crosswords, bridge and chess for example keep our brains working rather than being stagnant and ultimately prevent us from forgetting how to use it.
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