3 Common Brain Health Myths — Busted

A woman kayaking in a river
FatCamera/Getty Images

Yes, your brain will change as you get older, but if you think that every change is beyond your control, here’s some good news: You have the power to improve your thinking skills, your cognitive functions and your overall brain health.

That was a key takeaway from a report by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH). Ready for some more myth busting? Read on.

Want to find out about other common brain health myths? Read 6 Myths of Brain Health

Myth 1: You can’t learn after a certain age

The opposite is true. In fact, your brain thrives when you give it a challenge. Try starting something new that excites you, like enrolling in a dance class or diving into a cause.

Myth 2: Brain maintenance takes hard work

You need to work to keep your brain young. But the work should be fun and enjoyable, not a chore. The GCBH leadership suggests doing more of what you already love (gardening, for example). Or try something you’ve admired from a distance, like playing the piano or researching your family tree.

Myth 3: Flexing your mental muscles counts most

Physical exercise holds the real key to a youthful brain. The GCBH report notes that physical activity is one of the best-studied methods for maintaining brain health. In one study, for example, middle-aged adults who exercised were 40 percent less likely to develop thinking or memory problems, compared with those who didn’t exercise. Bottom line: Keep moving!

Learn more by reading Debunking Common Memory Myths

This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.

Search AARP Blogs
Related Posts
August 31, 2021 02:39 PM
Research shows that if you’re feeling time-crunched, try spending time on others rather than yourself to give yourself the feeling of having more time.
August 27, 2021 09:52 AM
Making life goals and working to achieve them not only gives us things to look forward to but also may help both brain health and longevity.
August 25, 2021 04:37 PM
Losing sleep due to stress and anxiety? You are not tossing and turning alone. Try some of these techniques to try to break the stressful cycle.