A lot of articles focus on how to keep your face and body looking younger, but what about your brain? Our Guest Geek post this week focuses on ways to keep your mind agile as you age.
Aging is associated with changes in blood flow, brain volume, and size, and fewer healthy neurons. Dementia can also cause a loss of brain function as one gets older. However, there are things you can do to slow the mental decline. Here we look at eight ways to keep your mind agile as you age.
Brain nutrition involves eating foods that create healthy mental functioning. Fish remains one of the best brain foods, especially when it contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, bad fats should be avoided.
You can also try supplements to help brain function, like Brain Pills and vitamins with Omega-3’s.
Keeping the brain stimulated is important for brain health. Do crossword puzzles and sudoku once a week to challenge different parts of the brain.
Playing games with challenging puzzles is also good to get your brain thinking! Try video games, or even solitaire on your computer.
Physical exercise improves circulation and blood flow to the brain. Blood pressure will be lowered. This decreases the risk of dementia.
Stop Smoking and Decrease Alcoholic Intake
Quitting smoking, decreasing the amount of alcohol you drink, and reducing the risk of oral cancer after quitting chewing tobacco have many health benefits. These habits can improve your cognitive ability. Limiting these items is possible with help.
Manage Hypertension and High Cholesterol
Manage hypertension and cholesterol. These high readings are contributors to strokes and heart attacks. They increase the risk of dementia. When these factors are under control, blood flow is better, meaning greater cognitive function.
Keep up with your Social Life
One way to remain alert and keep the mind active is to have an active social life. If you have experienced a dwindling of your circle, consider your independent and assisted living options and how you can expand your group of friends. Shared activities and frequent conversation will keep your spirits high and feed your mind.
Never Stop Learning
Better mind functions in the aged have been linked by research to a higher level of education. One factor that may play a role is that studying keeps the brain active and operational. Brain cells remain healthy and continue to communicate effectively with one another through habitual use.
If you have a job that requires you to use your brain and learn new things constantly, you are fortunate as it gives your brain daily exercise. If not, select and take up a hobby or project that activates the brain cell processes from frequent use. Learn new skills or find activities that require you to keep learning. Make it a lifelong personal decision to keep your brain in shape by effectively using it.
Make Use of All your Senses
When you employ your senses to acquire new knowledge or memories, those various perceptions use different parts of your brain, thus retaining the memory far better than without using the senses. A research study tested this by showing participants a set of pictures paired with a smell. Later, they were shown another set of pictures including those that they had been shown earlier, without smells. Participants could recall the pictures teamed with smells better than those shown without any. Pleasant odors resulted in an almost perfect recall. This was because the sections of the brain that perceive smells lit up and were operative while the memory was being formed.
Approach life with the determination to keep learning and it will reward you with a sharp mind and great memories.
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