Two men exercising outdoors

A Natural Remedy That Makes Age A Number

Have you ever wondered if there is any natural remedy to make your age just a number? Believe it or not, we might have an answer for you!

The recent pandemic caused the whole world to be thrown into a lockdown with multiple travel and public restrictions. So it comes as no surprise when home gyms slowly became a fitness trend as a means to regain being physically active.

Being physically active and exercising has always been of concern. Even the World Health Organization has issued guidelines about physical activity and sedentary behaviours. Researchers have found that age-related muscle loss also known as sarcopenia is something that causes the body to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade after reaching the age of 30.

However, being physically active can decrease the amount of muscle and offset this natural ageing process. However, performing physical activity goes beyond the outward appearance by having many benefits that are often overlooked. These benefits include protection against chronic diseases, improvement in quality of sleep, reduction in feelings of anxiety and depression while combating other age-related illnesses.

But as you work on keeping the body in good health, have you thought about your brain?

According to research, as you age the brain shrinks in volume and memory begins to decrease. So just like how the body has muscle loss due to ageing, the brain also faces similar losses. Both the body and the mind will face the inevitable.

However, if exercise can promote or maintain health in the body, can the same be done to the brain?

The brain is considered to be an organ and not a muscle, but it still acts like a muscle. When the brain is put through effortful training it appears to promote or maintain a healthy mind. While activities such as reading or taking a course may engage and challenge the brain by improving its function, learning a new language is a type of activity that involves almost all the aspects of cognitive functioning.

Learning a new language can be considered as a non-pharmacological cognitive intervention that can boost cognition and offset diseases that are age-related. So just like a muscle, the brain can also increase in size after regular stimulation.

Stay fit?

There is a trend to keep the body active and physically fit, right? Well, why not make it a complete workout by adding your brain to the list?

Studies have shown that learning a new language is among the most effective workouts that can be done for the brain. The practice of mastering a new language will cause areas of the brain that are associated with memory, such as the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, to increase in size.

Novel activities may bring cognitive benefits, but it tends to fade once a person’s brain got used to them. However, learning a second language will never stop challenging the brain. Knowing a second language forces the brain to switch between two languages and can be compared to taking the brain off of autopilot.

Nowadays, many people fear degenerative brain diseases that are occurring later on in life. Scientists have discovered that learning a language not only improves memory, but it can fend off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by up to 5 years. This is definitely better than the currently prescribed medication as it is a more natural approach.

Although it’s not clear whether learning a second language during childhood or during adulthood is better for the brain, the fact still remains that exercising the body, or the brain is good for your health.

I would say when it comes to reaping the benefits of learning a new language – there is no age limit.

Thanks for making it to the end of the blog, I hope this motivates you to not only challenge your body but also your mind.

Until next time, learnwithscience, and do not forget to take our personality test to discover your optimal learning style!

References:

  • Bubbico, G., Chiacchiaretta, P., Parenti, M., di Marco, M., Panara, V., Sepede, G., Ferretti, A., & Perrucci, M. G. (2019). Effects of Second Language Learning on the Plastic Aging Brain: Functional Connectivity, Cognitive Decline, and Reorganization. Frontiers in neuroscience, 13, 423.
  • Peters R. (2006). Ageing and the brain. Postgraduate medical journal, 82(964), 84–88.
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