Tips to Keeping Your Brain Mentally Sharp as You Age
As you get older, you’ll begin to notice changes in how you think and remember things. It could be where you left the magazine. It could be forgetting the name of a neighbor. These changes are not necessarily symptoms of dementia. Rather, they’re signs indicating that you’re growing older.
Old age has an impact on brain health. WHO defines brain health as the state of brain functioning across cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioral, and motor domains, allowing a person to realize their full potential over the course of their life, irrespective of the presence or absence of disorders. In other words, brain health has to do with how well a person’s brain works.
Changes that occur in the brain can be associated with aging. At other times, these changes can occur as a result of excessive use of substances, mood disorders, brain injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
Cognitive decline, a condition common among seniors, can be challenged by taking proactive steps. These steps would help keep the mind and brain healthy and active.
In this article, we want to share with you a lifestyle you can adopt to improve your brain’s health.
Acquire new skills
Acquiring new skills will improve your memory and thinking ability. Having a new hobby is a good way to keep your mind healthy. You can start by learning how to use a simple device. Learning how to play the musical instruments you’ve always wanted will make your mind active as well. The idea is to make sure that you keep yourself engaged with activities that can promote brain health.
Use your memory
As a senior, there’s a tendency to want to give up on using your memory, but you must engage your memory in order to keep your brain in good shape. Practicing memory exercises from time to time will help you recall events faster. Try to memorize the name that you have just been told. You can begin by inputting the person’s name in your conversations. Instead of asking, “Where did you keep it?” you can say something like, “John, where did you keep it?” This activity might seem trivial, but it has helped the brain health of seniors to a great extent.
Engage in social activities
Loneliness can increase your chances of losing brain strength. As a senior, you probably don’t have your children living with you. That, however, doesn’t stop you from getting involved in social activities around you. When you engage in social activities regularly, the chances of you developing dementia are quite low. You can engage in meaningful conversations with your caregiver, provided your loved ones are far away. Be involved in social events happening in your community or religious group. These activities will help your mind stay active.
Prevent head accidents
One in four seniors is likely to fall in a day. As a matter of fact, thousands of seniors fall every year. Falling as a senior can be prevented because if it is not, it can result in serious health problems, especially problems with the brain. For example, you can ask for help whenever you have to use the bathtub. Once you notice a recurrent imbalance in your gait, it is safe to get a walking cane. Doing so will prevent you from falling.
Eat brain-healthy foods
Aging is natural. So as you age, you might have to adjust your lifestyle to suit your health. Ensuring a balanced diet is important for seniors because it helps to keep their brains in good shape.
The Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the MIND diet are combinations of diets that can help reduce the possibility of cognitive decline. You may need to speak to your doctor or dietician in order to determine what food is best for you. However, you can incorporate fruits and vegetables in your diet as they are rich sources of antioxidants. You can also incorporate diets containing omega-3 fatty acids. They help to protect the brain and ward off the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease.
Engage in moderate exercise.
Keeping a routine of exercise can be of great benefit to your brain. The benefits of regular exercise include enhancements in memory and connections between brain cells. Seniors who practice regular exercise are at a lower risk of cognitive decline. Simple exercises like taking a walk around your community could be a good way to begin.
Smoking can only cause more damage to the health of seniors. It has no advantage whatsoever. Smoking enhances the weakening of the brain cells, increases the chance of dementia, promotes loss of brain volume, and makes you more susceptible to becoming a stroke patient. It is safe and advisable to quit smoking in order to maintain good brain health. If you’re addicted to smoking, it is important for you to speak to a doctor.
Daily habits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can keep your brain sharp even as a senior. All you need to do is be proactive by making decisions that can favor your health. It is not impossible to maintain a sharp brain as you age; you just need to make the right choices, and that has to begin now.