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Aging and Declining Strength. Are You Slowing Down Physically and Mentally?

Audrey's passion for connecting with nature is magnified in her self-help writings and poetry.

when-you-have-pain-say-thank-you-god

Why We Slow Down Both Physically and Mentally

The reason we lose it and slow down is simple. We just don't use our body and brain as much as we once did. Much of the decline in strength and stamina that we blame on age is actually due to disuse. When we slow down, it gets harder to pick up the pace again. So the natural tendency is to slow down even more. Sound familiar?

We absolutely must continually challenge ourselves with a variety of activities such as:

  • Playing the piano
  • Shooting pool
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Exercise - Walking, running, hiking,swimming, biking, stretching or pilates. And housework counts too.
  • Learning to knit.
  • Acting in a play
  • Brain Games

Practice New Skills

are-you-slowing-down-physically-and-mentally

Learning New Skills

Each time we learn a new skill we have to practice in order to learn. Practicing is how we progress from step one, the beginning of learning, to the final step. Finding the time to learn and maintain a skill in the midst of our busy lives can be a challenge. But it's important to remember that in midlife and beyond, we get the most benefit from the first small effort.

As we practice our skills, even just a little each week, we are exercising the capacities that are important to us. And practicing many of our skills, just a little bit, is more important than concentrating on just one or two.

Remember the neurons we talked about in the beginning of this article? (If not, I suggest going back and review this section.) When we practice, these neurons actually grow microscopic filaments to connect to one another. This is a process known as arborization. When we stop practicing, these connections wither away.

So every time we learn new skills or master new areas of knowledge, our neurons get busy and secrete growth hormones that foster arborization. This, then, stimulates their growth as well as the growth of their neighbors.

The more connections between neurons are formed, the more we learn and the more information we retain.

The Brain Is A Learning Machine

The brain is a learning machine. It wants to continually be taught something new. We need to feed it daily with a challenge of some sort. Part of the brain is devoted to learning, striving to meet challenges and dealing with frustration. Another part of the brain takes care of establishing habits and routines. If we let one part atrophy, its functions are then taken over by areas that are used more.

We must keep challenging ourselves and continue to learn new skills. If we neglect to do this, a part of the brain goes quiet and brain activity shifts to it's humdrum mode. The more we let ourselves just sit around, failing to try a new challenge, the harder it will be to reactivate that part of our brain.

What Is A Neuron?

A neuron is a nerve cell. This cell processes information through electrical and chemical signals. Neurons connect to each other to form neural networks. Neurons are the core components of the nervous system. They include the brain, the spinal cord and the central nervous system as well as the ganglia of the peripheral nervous system.

Specialized types of neurons include: sensory neurons, sensory organs, motor neurons and interneurons.

As far as your brain is concerned - You are what you eat. Try to avoid processed food and go easy on the red meat. Watch your salt intake if you have high blood pressure. Drink plenty of water and avoid soft drinks.

Make 3/4ths of your plate veggies and swap sugar heavy ice cream and pastries for healthy blueberries. Go organic whenever possible. Avoid junk food and eat a balanced diet including salmon, walnuts and kiwi - rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These foods will definitely beef up your brain.

Structure of a Typical Neuron

Neuron - (peripheral nervous system)

Neuron - (peripheral nervous system)

Declining Strength As We Age. Use It Or Lose It

We've all heard the saying, "use it or lose it." This applies to both the physical and the mental areas of the body. So are you finding that as you age you are slowing down both physically and mentally?

At UCLA, recent research demonstrated that exercise increased the growth factors in the brain - making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections. Pay attention to the word "neuron" because these little guys play a most important role. They are the reason why your body must be used both physically and mentally regularly.

The deterioration of our abilities occurs due to disuse, and this law applies to both your mental and physical abilities-to chess as much as tennis.

We blame our decline in strength and stamina on age while it's actually due to disuse. When we slow down, it gets harder to pick up the pace again, so we slow down even more.

The February 2003 Journal of Gerontology also showed that those who are physically fit had less age-related brain-tissue shrinkage than those less active. This alone should give us the motivation we need to be more active.

Whether we decide to take a short walk 2 - 4 times per week, or join a water-aerobics class, the important issue is to get our bodies moving. I recently joined a Ti Chai class at our local YMCA. Although I enjoy this form of exercise I learned that some of the movements were hard on my knees. I'm learning to modify those movements to avoid knee pain. Be sure you do only what your body will tolerate if you take part in group activities.

Drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cells (B) from pigeon cerebellum by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, 1899; Instituto Cajal, Madrid, Spain.

Drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cells (B) from pigeon cerebellum by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, 1899; Instituto Cajal, Madrid, Spain.

Check Your Breathing

Everyone enters this world using diaphragmatic breathing. As babies, when ever we inhale, the abdominal wall and lower ribcage will inflate. This a completely natural action. All animals also breathe by using this valuable muscle.

We actually un-learn the proper way to breathe. Instead of keeping the chest quiet and inflate around the waistline to take a breath, we lift the chest high, along with the shoulders, and pull our abdominal area in. This is not how we were designed to breathe.

It's time to re-learn this natural way of breathing. This easy step-by-step article teaches you how with supporting photos.

Diaphragmatic breathing (belly breath) provides the following benefits:

  • Releases endorphins in the brain, making you feel good.
  • Releases stress.
  • Detoxifies and releases toxins in the body.
  • Brings clarity to the mind.
  • Aids in reducing pain.
  • Oxygenates all cells.
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Makes the heart stronger.
  • Strengthens the lungs.

Make time each day to practice diaphragmatic breathing. Cultivate an awareness for how your body moves as you breathe.

How To Inhale and Exhale Air

Inhale by inflating the lower ribcage and abdominal wall.  Do this simultaneously.  Notice where my hand is placed in the photo.  Breathe through the nose to inhale and exhale  slowly through the mouth. Use a hissing sound.

Inhale by inflating the lower ribcage and abdominal wall. Do this simultaneously. Notice where my hand is placed in the photo. Breathe through the nose to inhale and exhale slowly through the mouth. Use a hissing sound.

Increasing Much Needed Oxygen To The Brain

The brain weighs about 3 pounds and consumes as much as 20% of the oxygen and glucose taken in by the body. Blood flow is the single most important thing for the brain. We need large volumes of blood, constantly delivered to the brain. This is how we maintain proper brain function.

Whenever there is any type of interruption in the delivery of blood to our brain this can lead very quickly to disorientation, dizziness and other problems including unconsciousness.

NACD (National Association For Child Development) reports that our brain needs to be fed well (no junk food people.) We also need to do everything possible to get the best circulation of blood to the brain.

One way to increase oxygen and circulation is by breathing. But you must breathe the right way. For oxygenation, breathing must be done using the diaphragmatic muscle.

NACD suggests the following :

When we breathe normally and deeply into our belly, we move air and oxygen down to areas of our lungs where most of the circulation of blood is. This is where most oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange takes place. If we don’t learn to breathe naturally with our diaphragm muscle, we do not get the proper amount of oxygen into our blood to be carried to our brain and body parts.

If we breathe through our mouth, we do not rebreathe the stored carbon dioxide and nitric oxide that help circulate blood to the brain in order to oxygenate brain cells. Remember, the carbon dioxide and nitric oxide open up blood vessels in the brain so we can get proper oxygen levels in our brain. Nitric oxide helps dilate blood vessels in our lungs so that we can get good circulation there for exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Challenge Both Your Brain And Your Body

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4 Facts About Your Brain And Oxygen

  • The brain uses three times as much oxygen as the muscles in the body.
  • Brain cells are very sensitive to decreases in oxygen levels and don't survive or function very well without it.
  • Short walks throughout the day will increase your circulation and oxygen to the brain better than hard, longer walks. Forced walks or runs, while good for you, cause your muscles to absorb much of the oxygen in your system which hinders the oxygen being carried to your brain.
  • It's better to breathe through your nose under normal conditions than it is your mouth.

Exercises For Balance, Strength and Cardio For Physical And Mental Fitness

* Stand up straight, feet together and arms at your side. Lift the right foot a few inches off the floor, bending the knee slightly and balance the left leg. Hold this position for as long as you can. Five seconds is a good start. Your goal is 30

BalanceCardioStrength

Tai Chi

Walking

Light Weights

* Standing on One Leg

Biking

Exercise Bands

Core Exercises

Swimming

Core Exercises

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

As we age, it's natural to slow down both physically and mentally. For the most part, this begins around the age of forty. However, the decline in our brain and body, occur mostly because of disuse. No matter what age we are, we absolutely must use our brain and body.

  • Brain cells fire off commands to muscles. Skills such as playing the piano, learning a foreign language, along with daily exercises such as walking continue to challenge both the brain and the body. Keep your neurons busy.
  • Learn diaphragmatic breathing to supply oxygen to the brain.
  • If you've been inactive for a while, start off with simple activities around the house like vacuuming, mopping the floor or even polishing the furniture.
  • Take your dog for a leisurely walk, wearing good shoes to protect your feet, and help with balance.
  • Exercise affects the brain. It increases your heart rate which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It stimulates the growth of new connections with the brain.
  • Physical exercise reorganizes the brain so that it's more resilient to stress.
  • Singing is a physical effect which releases endorphins (the brains feel-good chemicals.)

I tell folks, "I'm not old. I've just been 21 for a long time."

In the words of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”

Resources

UCLA - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159540

http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/58/2.toc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuron


What Do You Think?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Audrey Hunt

Comments

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 22, 2018:

RTalloni

I was told the same thing by a physical therapist when working on my knee. I absolutely believe this. Our minds can help the healing process. I've learned this through personal experience. I wrote a hub about this too. :)

I hope your knee injury is healing beautifully. Thank you for your kind support.

Audrey

RTalloni on January 22, 2018:

Again, this was a good read. Two years means I need the good reminders you put so well here. Thank you for your kind response to my first visit to this post.

A knee injury recently required a doc's intervention and then therapy. Somewhere in the process the doc mentioned that making the mind coordinate with the therapy exercises is very good for our brains–he was kind enough not to say aging brains but I think he was hinting at what's on the horizon for all of us. :)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 01, 2016:

Flourish

I relate to your helping your relative with the slowing down and trying to get them to be more active. I'm in the same boat with one of my siblings. While she's now struggling with Alzheimer's I feel helpless...but keep trying. Thanks my friend.

Fpherj48

Hello gorgeous. Let's face it...aging isn't in your vocabulary...or mine! I tell my friends, "I'm not old, I've just been 25 for a very long time."

Love your spirit Paula!

Hugs,

Audrey

Suzie from Carson City on March 26, 2016:

Hey Miss Audrey! It's been 19 months since I commented here~~ and I swear I feel 19 YEARS younger!

Yeah, OK......I am REALLY into using my IMAGINATION! It's so much fun!...LOL.....Paula

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 25, 2016:

This caught my eye again, as I've had to teach and reteach the same things to a relative who is mentally slowing and I see the person deteriorating. They are very status quo and refuse to exercise or take up anything new. They used to do computer games but dropped that. It's such an important message. Sharing in the hope that others will be helped.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 22, 2016:

RTalloni - Thank you my friend for taking time to read my hub and leave your valuable comments. I've known people who swear by inversion therapy for their back. I'd like to try it myself. I want to tell you how much I enjoy your hubs. I love knowledge and I find myself learning something new with each of your articles!

RTalloni on January 21, 2016:

Another neat read that I'm pinning in my Solve It: section on seniors. So agree that in general we can hold on to good physical/mental ability by taking care of health and paying special attention to maintenance. We've begun using an inversion thingy (not everyone should) and the more I read about the brain the more I want to use it for more than back issues!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 02, 2015:

Hannah - Very nice to see you here. Your kind comments feel as good as eating chocolate! Thank you, thank you. Audrey

Hannah David Cini from Nottingham on March 30, 2015:

What a great hub! I really enjoyed this. It was interesting, motivational and educational. I look forward to reading more of you work.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 30, 2015:

Patsybell

I love gardening too and looking forward to spring. Thanks for being here!

Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, SEMO on January 30, 2015:

I have to say, this came into my view at just the right time. I needed a little push to get back into my healthy routine. Winter seems so long for gardeners. ^+

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 26, 2015:

peachpurple

Yes, you are right about this! The body and mind are meant to be used. Thanks for your comments.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 26, 2015:

as we grow old, we must keep or mind and body active not deactivate

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 26, 2015:

Emese Fromm

Thanks for reading my article about slowing down physically and mentally as we age. I'm happy to hear that you find it motivating. Just keep using your mind and body regularly.I appreciate your comments.

Emese Fromm from The Desert on January 26, 2015:

Thank you for this article. I needed to read it at this moment. I'm close to fifty and just very recently I've noticed this "slowing down". It's true that I haven't done as much as I used to in any area lately, reading your article is a good motivation for me.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 08, 2015:

Healthnews12

It's surprising how much energy walking through the forest gives me. I star out slow and end up at a good pace. Living in the mountains brings new beauty with each walk I take. Thanks.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on December 08, 2014:

Vellur

It's so nice to see you here again. I appreciate your coming back to read my hub once more. Hope all is well with you.

Hugs,

Audrey

Hi Rolly

LOL! What a great last line. Humor keeps us young. And as you say, staying fit and active plays a crucial role in aging. Thank you my friend for being here.

Happy thoughts with hugs and blessings,

Audrey

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on December 03, 2014:

Hi Vocalcoach...

Staying fit and active is very important as we age. The few extra pounds we gained years ago would be lost quickly but today they seem to hang around. I have a routine which is fairly complete, with an assortment of gym equipment. The mind is something we can never leave behind for. In today's world it seems if you miss out on technology of any kind you quickly fall behind.... "Now where do I put a stamp on this thing so I can mail it."

Hugs and Blessings

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 26, 2014:

Came back for another read, great hub. Great tips to stay young and mentally active.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on October 20, 2014:

Hi Bobbi -

Thanks for the great votes. Do you know how much I admire you? The courage you displayed with your broken leg is inspirational.

You're the best, my friend! Hugs. - Audrey

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on September 07, 2014:

Hi,

I voted up +++

I am using the heck out of my brain and body as I have so much on my plate I do not have a choice. So if my brain cells die they need to do it while I am asleep as I do not need them then, Ha!

As far as my body goes I work harder or as hard as I did when I had a career going full blast.

Even a broken leg did not keep me still too long. And, now I am taking your space to vent---sorry.

Loved your hub.

Bobbi Purvis

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 27, 2014:

fpherj48

Hi you fantastic woman, you. Your comments, alone, would make an award-winning hub. I just knew you were the type of person that jumps in and does it all the right way.

And yes, we writers do have an edge. Our sweet brains are constantly being challenged as our busy neurons are firing up with new ideas.

And as you have pointed out, attitude is everything. I really believe this. I ignore my aging body and when my age comes up my reply is, "I'm not old, I've just been 21 for a very long time." :)

Thanks, for all your in-put and for the votes and more. ~ Audrey

teaches12345

Thank you for contributing to this hub with your comments. I like the way you think, young lady.

Exercise and healthy eating sprinkled with plenty of laughter really does the job. ~ Audrey

poetryman6969

Absolutely! Learning new skills wake up those neurons, keeping the brain active. Thank you.

suziecat7

Walking accomplishes much more than we think it does. It's one of the best stress-reducers.

And oh my - memorizing all the capitals of all the countries in the world! I see a good "Jeopardy" contestant. Thanks Suzie - Audrey

DeborahNeyens

Yes. Yoga has helped my body to stay limber and my mind to stay focused. Thanks my friend. ~ Audrey

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on August 27, 2014:

Great article. Yoga is very beneficial to slow the aging process, also. It helps with breathing, stretching and toning, and balance.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 23, 2014:

Hi Beth,

Thanks for the vote up and glad to hear that this hub brought you a little knowledge. Enjoy your day!

Beth Perry from Tennesee on August 23, 2014:

The information in this Hub makes a lot of sense. Voted up and remembering what I learned today.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 17, 2014:

midget38

I'm at the age now where I've already aged:) So I can testify that when the brain is healthy, every other part of the body is too. Thanks my friend.

Hi Mary

So nice to see you again. I, too have to re read this hub every so often to remind myself to 'move' more often. Thanks Mary.

ARUN KANTI

We all need to be reminded that we aren't going to stay where we are physically and mentally as we age. Thank you for finding my hub useful.

rebeccamealey

I, like you, have always found the brain a fascinating subject. We continue to find more information about this amazing part of our body each day. Who would think that diet would have such profound profound effect on the brain?

Thank you for being here.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 17, 2014:

This makes a lot of sense. We slow down and then that begets more slowing down. The brain has always been one of the most fascinating subjects to me. Great article!

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE from KOLKATA on August 17, 2014:

An excellent hub with useful tips for slowing down the aging process. Thanks for sharing

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 17, 2014:

I just came by for a reread and to remind myself to do those things that will prevent me from slowing down.

Voted UP, etc. and shared.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on August 17, 2014:

Phew. You've provided me with quite a bit of relief, Audrey. I'm glad to know that as long as I keep my brain healthy as I age, things will not be so bad!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on August 10, 2014:

CrisSP

Sounds like you're doing everything right. Thanks for sharing your good tips with us. It's downright inspiring!

torrilynn

Thank you for being here. We all need reminders and inspiration from time to time. :)

pstraubie48

Hello my friend. It seems like the older I get the more often I need to be reminded:) Wonderful to see you.

Audrey Howitt

How is the marvelous and talented lady? Thanks for being here and much happiness to you.

Phyllis Doyle

I plan on living to at least 102 years of age. This gives me enough time to get even with my children :) The universe has been so generous to me. One example is allowing me to find someone like you right here on HP.

Suzie from Carson City on August 07, 2014:

"Growing Older Gracefully.".....Audrey...this is such a positive and inspiring hub. I agree with these facts and remain conscious of the many things we can and should do to preserve those "neurons."

Luckily I happen to really enjoy brain exercises in the form of word games; crosswords and cryptograms are my favorites.

It seems to me that we writers have the edge also, wouldn't you agree? Always thinking, creating, using our language skills......we're activating our brain cells every single day!

Maintaining a healthy and happy attitude is a must. We simply cannot stop the hands of time, but we CAN slow them down by being focused on NOT slowing down the process of living, learning and loving!

Wonderful hub as always, Audrey. You are a true GEM....Up++++ pinned, tweeted & googled.

Dianna Mendez on August 04, 2014:

I feel my age these days but keeping a consistent exercise routine and good eating habits helps to combart the aging process , at least for awhile. Great post and one that will help us to face life positively.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 27, 2014:

Hi Nell - I just bet that your neighbors open their windows wide to hear your burst of song! I just love it. :) It's clear that there is no slowing dow for you. Thanks so much.

rastai - Wow! What a great way to keep those neurons in check. And now you can pump out more great hubs. Thanks.

no body - I completely agree with your feelings about retirement. And learning to play both the recorder and the ocarina is impressive. As you have pointed out, these instruments require controlled breathing and good finger dexterity. Do we have a new 'pied piper' in our midst?

Thanks for enjoying my hub and come back for another visit soon. My best to you.

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on July 27, 2014:

I might not exercise my body enough (just walking) but I love my brain game challenges. I enjoy memorizing things like all the capitals of all the countries of the world. I don't know why :)) Excellent Hub!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 26, 2014:

midget38 - Based on the number of excellent hubs you write, I don't see this happening to you.

Thanks my friend.

Better Yourself - Thank you for finding my hub excellent and helpful. Lack of time for exercising can take it's toll. I know this firsthand. I gave up one of my favorite TV shows in order to get my walking in each day. :)

Thanks for voting up.

Better Yourself from North Carolina on July 25, 2014:

Excellent and Helpful Hub!!! I have definitely noticed a difference with lack of exercise due to lack of time, and this is a reminder of how important it is for me to make time. Voted up!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on July 16, 2014:

I feel like it sometimes!! Thanks for this, Audrey!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 06, 2014:

Martie - Thanks so much for being here and taking time to read my hub and leave a comment. Happy thoughts! - Audrey

Thelma Alberts - Zumba? Wow - very impressive. You're doing all the right things my friend. Keep it up and thanks. - Audrey

poetryman6969 on July 05, 2014:

Learning new skills seems a good way to do.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 05, 2014:

Hi Genna - I like the way you think and follow this to the letter. I'm a life-long learner, challenging myself to try new things. Thank you for the joy you've received through reading my hub. So very good of you to share this with me. Live smart my friend! - Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 05, 2014:

Ruby H Rose - You are very welcome. It's my pleasure to be able to inform others on this most important subject. Glad you liked it and think it's awesome. I hope to see you again soon. - Audrey

Better Yourself - Thank you for the very kind and generous comments. I'm glad to see you here and appreciate the vote. Have a great day.

Pamela99 - I know exactly where you are coming from. As I age and approach my 'golden years' I pray each day that I won't be a burden in any way to my children. It would be perfect if my mind and body were still functioning clear, well and strong right up to my final breath.

Thanks so much for your great comments and I wish you fantastic health. - Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 05, 2014:

Thank you Manatita44. I appreciate your good comments and it's always such a pleasure to see you. Enjoy your day my friend!

Bravewarrior - I know exactly what you mean. It's easy to become sedentary, especially if the body has a variety of aches and pains. Also, as you mentioned, sitting at the computer hour after hour and day after day takes it's toll. I use an alarm clock, setting it for every twenty minutes. I make myself leave the computer and walk around the house, or do some stretches and stuff like that. It really helps. Thanks my friend for supporting me and I hope your day brings you a miracle or two - Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 05, 2014:

Sanjay - Intake of oxygen really does "run the engine" so to speak. Thanks and hope to see you again soon.

sanjay-sonawani - It's important to me that my hubs are helpful. Thank you for confirming this.

My best to you ~

marcoujor - Hello lovely lady. Your opening line made me laugh and oh, how I do relate. I want to thank you for voting up and across as well as for your kind comments.

My heart always smiles when you come to visit me Maria. I did a quick search on the meaning of your name. It is given in many diverse cultures. Wikipedia gives some interesting facts on your beautiful name. Enjoy your weekend!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 04, 2014:

mckbirdbks - If the truth be known, this is my kind of exercise. Thanks Mike and my very best to you!

Thank you Vellur for confirming the need to exercise the brain by more activity from the body. Enjoy the day!

Kathleen - Oh, thanks so much for pinning my hub to your board "Hubs Worth Reading." This is a great gift for the 4th of July! Very happy Audrey.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 04, 2014:

Exercise makes such a huge difference. I start out with very little energy and by the time I'm through with my mountain hiking I have energy to spare. Thanks Suzanne for being here and for the vote.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on July 03, 2014:

I couldn't agree more with making the most of what you've got, while you can! I've recently noticed a bit of slowing down on my behalf due to a lack of exercise and yes, it does seem to snowball after awhile. Voted useful and thanks for the timely reminder. x

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 29, 2014:

Great hub and interesting, useful information. We must exercise our brains just like we exercise our other muscles to keep our brain nimble and healthy. Voted up.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on June 21, 2014:

I make every effort I can NOT to slow down. My greatest fear is becoming senile or worse, so I do exercise my brain by different methods. I have a 10 minute exercise routine I do every morning and I think that helps. I also do Yoga.

Good info here . Voted UP, etc.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on June 21, 2014:

Very useful and informational hub, Audrey. I think slowing down a little as time goes by is a natural and gradual process -- but, it is a good idea to keep the body and mind alert and in good shape as long as possible. You send out a good reminder to all -- thanks.

Audrey Howitt from California on June 21, 2014:

Just excellent hub Audrey! I can so relate!!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 19, 2014:

Sky321 - Thank you. It's so nice to see you here. Happy Hubbing!

Mekenzie - What a very nice surprise to see you again! I've missed you. So glad you read my hub here and left me a message. Hope all is well with you my friend. Happy thoughts to you - Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 19, 2014:

Jackie Lynnley - Good for you! I realize there are times when we want to move our marvelous engines - but just can't and I think we must respect this. But most of the time we can do what you are doing. Thanks Jackie - Audrey

suzettenaples - Tai Chi is wonderful for balance. And I agree with you about writing on HP to keep the old noggin going :) Thanks so much!

travmaj - Sorry about your recent setback and very glad to hear that you are walking, doing Tai Chi and working on deep breathing. Keep up the great program!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 19, 2014:

Audrey

This is such an important topic...so.many people do not realize how much they can do to keep their bodies including their brains fit.You have clearly pointed out many reasons to make the effort and what we should be doing...shared and voted up

Angels are on the way ps

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 19, 2014:

jhamann - Hi Jamie. Thanks for being here and leaving your nice message.

always exploring - I'm a jeopardy fan too, even though my answers are usually wrong :) To rectify sitting too long at the computer I make myself get up every 15-20 minutes and stretch, vacuum - anything to move around. Thanks so much Ruby for your support. - Audrey

torrilynn on June 19, 2014:

I feel that I am slowing down mentally, physically, and emotionally. thanks for these simple steps and tips. they are much appreciated.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on June 19, 2014:

Very interesting subject, well present with useful information. And here, if I may share my tricks because I have to admit, I'm not getting any younger anymore as well. :)

The body in motion stays in motion. True say for the brain. That's why I bike whenever I can specially now that the weather is very much improving in my part of the world (it rained yesterday). I also like to go nature trailing. There I get to breathe on some fresh air and it literally help clears my head off. I also read a book or at least one or two articles every night before hitting the sack--that is sort of a nightly ritual.

And of course, I'm a domestic diva and I treat household chores just like going to the gym specially cleaning the stairwell. Ok, truth is I have no budget to pay for the gym. :) Lol! But, who needs the gym when there's plenty of ways to move our but*s around, eh?

What an excellent, useful and very motivational hub. Now, if I may, I have to start pedaling in half an hour. :)

Up++ and sharing.

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on June 19, 2014:

I have just retired in recent years. Retirement, to me, never meant traveling or just sitting around doing nothing. I believed it was meant to give me time to do the things that I simply didn't get around to when I had to give my whole schedule to making a living. I began to prepare to write when I was working and then after retirement I was set to devote more time to it. I had always wished to learn a simple instrument and to make pretty sounds with it. I knew I was never going to sing so the instrument would do the singing for me. So I have been playing first the recorder and then the ocarina. I find that the breathing requirements of music has me continually challenged and the finger movements of playing helps my dexterity. I still feel the forgetfulness and the fatigue catching up to me. Taking vitamin E seems to help. Ginko Biloba never did. This was an interesting article that I enjoyed immensely. Voted up.

Marvin Parke from Jamaica on June 19, 2014:

I am presently learning how to touch type. It is a pretty interesting challenge. Because my three finger technique suffices. I am getting to a point where I will just touch type without thinking about, but my brain is still building those neurons to get to that point.

Nell Rose from England on June 16, 2014:

Hi Audrey, I walk most days, for about 3 hours, that's down the park and shopping! lol! I also sing at the top of my voice to drive the neighbors nuts, and before bed do breathing exercises, which started when I had asthma as a kid, in fact I open the bedroom window and take great gulps of air before I go to bed, phew! hopefully this will work, and keep me fitter, great advice, and definitely something we should all be doing, nell

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on June 16, 2014:

Yes, this is a very useful and informative hub worth reading. As I´m getting older and older every day, I fight against slowing down physically and mentally. I do zumba at least once a week and reading and writing are my brain exercises. Thanks for sharing this. Have a nice week!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on June 14, 2014:

Excellent and well-needed article. Thanks, Audrey :)

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on June 14, 2014:

The more we use our minds, the better they function. I have always thought that if we challenge ourselves, mentally, and teach ourselves to become lifelong learners, we will be able to say active longer as we grow older. Fascinating hub…I enjoyed reading this. Voted up ++.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 13, 2014:

btrbell - I like your mother's saying. Smart lady. So glad to hear that you enjoyed this hub. I wrote it as much for myself as for anyone. :) Think young - stay young. Thanks.

FlourishAnyway - Yes, exercise is key. It's kind of like the car my father use to drive us kids in. It took a bit to get the engine started, but once that old auto fired up - away it would go. :)

denise.w.anderson - I know just how you feel denise. But once we get started, it sure feels good. I do mostly walking and I'm glad I can still do that. :) Thank you.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 13, 2014:

ChitrangadaSharon - Thank you my friend. Appreciate your comments and visit!

Bill - Well, speaking of aging, I tell people, "I'm not old, I'm just staying young for a very long time." :)

Thank you so very much for taking your precious time to read my hub and comment. I wouldn't be where I am today on HP, without your hubs and support. Have a great weekend.

Love,

Audrey

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 13, 2014:

Awesome hub. As I have aged I do many thing to stimulate my brain as I don't want to lose my abilities to think logically and problem solve. Your hub gave us a wealth of informaiton to consider. Voted up.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 10, 2014:

janshares - I'm really happy to hear that this hub helped to increase your awareness on this topic. As I buried myself in research, I too, became more aware of how much the brain depends on our 'getting up and moving' - especially for a writer.

Thank you for your vote up and for rating useful. You've taken your valuable time to read and comment and I appreciate that!

Better Yourself from North Carolina on June 10, 2014:

Excellent hub! This is definitely a motivator to be more active and keeping our minds sharp. Voted up!

Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on June 10, 2014:

Thanks for the reminder to breathe correctly it really does help awesome hub

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 10, 2014:

Audrey, you've provided some valuable information for those of us who are in the aging sector. I think I do okay in keeping the brain active. My problem is I've become quite sedentary in my old age. Where I used to spend quite a bit of time in my yard, now I find excuses to have "lazy days". I think being on the computer all day every day wears me out. I need to be more conscious of working in the yard. I'm not one to exercise because I never had to; my lifestyle took care of that for me. My lifestyle has changed drastically. This old dog is pretty resistant to learning new tricks.

manatita44 from london on June 10, 2014:

A 21st Century article and much needed. I grow up with many of your great ideas for exercise and breathing.

My body is now tired, though. I do my best. Peace.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on June 10, 2014:

I would have gotten here sooner but at my age, I hate to be rushed (LOL)!

You have written a thoughtful and comprehensive overview of this issue, dear Audrey. Beautiful work! Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria

Sanjay Sonawani from Pune, India. on June 09, 2014:

Thanks. Vey helpful!

Sanjay Sharma from Mandi (HP) India on June 09, 2014:

Nice tips about recharging with intake of oxygen.

Kathleen Odenthal from Bridgewater on June 09, 2014:

Great hub! Pinned it to my "Hubs Worth Reading" board!

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on June 09, 2014:

Great advice. My brain tells to sit down and turn on the TV but I fight it. There is much to be said for exercising, if just getting out for a walk. I compromise, I walk but carry the remote :)

Susan Ream from Michigan on June 09, 2014:

Very Motivational vocalcoach! I've been a lot more conscious of the way I breathe because I have learned of the importance of oxygen to the brain. You've explained more detail about that process in this hub - very interesting.

I needed a kick to get me to be more active - Thank YOU!

Great Hub, voted up and over -shared!

Blessings to you friend,

Mekenzie

Sky321 from Canada on June 09, 2014:

You have some great information on here. Thanks

travmaj from australia on June 09, 2014:

Thank you for this, a reminder that we can combat the difficulties associated with ageing. After a recent medical set back I am now - walking regularly, Tai Chi, and working on the breathing technique. I found this hub interesting and helpful - a huge reminder not to give in. Thank you and voting.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 09, 2014:

Yes, I can feel myself winding down physically and mentally. That's why I write on HP, to keep the old noggin working. LOL! I really should exercise more also. I have done Tai Chi in the past and it is great for helping balance. I should sign up for another class. I need to walk more as you are correct, exercise heightens the endorphins, keeps the joints working and is good for general health. Thanks for reminding us of this. I enjoyed reading this.

!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 09, 2014:

Luckily I manage to keep going when I think I can't any longer and I always pull through it. We just can't give in or give up. Great advice we can all use. ^

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 09, 2014:

I fully agree, if we don't use it we lose it. I am active, i've always been into fitness. I ride a bike, dance, and work hard at keeping my home in order. I do sit too much at the computer since joining HP. I don't know how to remendy that except to not sit too long, get up and do something else for a while. I also love to do crossword puzzles and i never miss jeopardy. I like this, it's a great reminder to move........

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on June 09, 2014:

Well written hub with some very important information. Thank you. Jamie

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on June 09, 2014:

I didn't use to think that getting older caused people to slow down, until I got older! There is a definite difference in the way my body functions now versus how it used to! I am sure that inactivity only speeds up the slowing down process. It is much more difficult to get myself moving (and motivated) now than it used to be! Thanks for the incentive!

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 09, 2014:

Exercise is a key method for staying young on the inside and outside. I know I should do more of it.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on June 09, 2014:

What a great and timely article. I have been finding myself slowing down lately and it is very scary. My mother used to say "my feet up and go, got up and went!" Thank you for all the great tips! Up, interesting and useful!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 09, 2014:

Wonderful points and a great amount of truth in them. I know this to be true. I am fighting the aging process, and making sure I at least slow it down a bit. It's not easy but it is worth it. Thanks for bringing this to the forefront and talking about it.

love,

bill

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 09, 2014:

I completely agree with your suggestions in this hub. We must keep on using our brain and body, to remain active. This is the only way to prevent a slow down physically and mentally as we age.

As we age a certain degeneration is inevitable, but if we stop being active, very soon it will be difficult to perform even small tasks by ourselves.

Very useful and informative hub! Voted up!

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on June 09, 2014:

Very good information here, vocalcoach. Although I do a lot of running around between my business, church, block club, tai chi, writing, etc, I still feel like I'm slowing down. I can't seem to keep up in the brain or physically as much as I used to. I think it's a combination of overload and age. But I definitely can add exercise to my routine. Thanks for increasing awareness on the subject. Voted up and useful.