Keeping the Mind Young and Energetic


Its easy to see the effects of aging on the outside of your body, but what about the inside? Though it’s not immediately obvious, your brain, the hub of all the memories and knowledge you’ve picked up throughout the years, ages just as much as the rest of your body. Luckily, just like with your body, there are things you can do to help reduce age-induced memory loss and keep your brain young and healthy–and it’s not a bad idea to start early!

When I was young, I was too wrapped up in sports, parties, and, of course, girls, to give my academics the attention they deserved. My grades were good enough to get into college, and I still slogged throughmostof my homework and tests, but I wasn’t truly focused on my studies. It didn’t help that my teachers enabled me, either–it seemed like they were all coaches or family friends who would gladly give me second chances and easy extra credit opportunities at the end of each grading period. I began to rely on them for the extra points that would bring my grades from C’s to B’s and A’s…

…But it all came crashing back down on me when I went to college. The lack of effort I made in high school left me practically a year behind the rest of the freshmen, and with the poor study skills I developed, I was really forced to “learn how to learn.” While I eventually pulled myself up to a respectable level of performance, my first year of college was tough–I just barely avoided failing with the lowest GPA I had of all four years.

Though I certainly wasn’t the type to bully the smartest kids in school, I didn’t exactly respect them, either. But if I had to go through high school all over again, my nickname would definitely be something along the lines of “braniac,” “nerd,” “bookworm,” or “geek.” You see, recent scientific studies have shown that people who did more reading and studying instead of working on their social status (i.e. partying) had better memory retention when they were older. This was particularly true during the developmental ages of 12 through 18.

Luckily for us old 19-and-up people, we can still improve our brains and memories by partaking in mentally-stimulating exercises. Writing, reading, playing games that feature logic and thinking (such as chess), and participating in educational activities like going to museums are all things that can improve the mind over the short and long term.

The more we exercise out brains, the slower and less severe the mental decline will be when we get older, especially in terms of memory retention. Luckily for me and all of the less academically-inclined like me, it’s never too late to begin. Of course, I do wish I had started twenty years ago… and so does my GPA!

What do you think?