The mind is one of the most powerful influences on how you or a loved one will age and live in the latter years of life. Maintaining a healthy mental capacity, in addition to physical well-being, is the gold standard of living a long, healthy and happy life.
With diseases like Alzheimer’s, that destroy memory and mental functions so prevalent, it’s never too early or too late to take actions that can help you or your loved one with healthy aging of the mind.
Here are our four top tips for keeping your mind healthy and sharp:
Do Brain Exercises
Our brains need to workout just like our bodies. There are various exercises that will help support brain health including learning a new language, reading, using your non-dominant hand, doing crossword puzzles and more brain games. Check out these brain games available online from AARP.
Get Physically Active
In a study by University of British Columbia, researchers concluded, “regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.” Thus, being as physically active as possible is as important for your body as your mind. If you are unable to do major aerobic work, there are many classes aimed at seniors or those with medical concerns at local gyms, community centers, some hospitals and private clubs. Additionally, DVDs and online classes are also an option and never underestimate the power of walking around your neighborhood once a day.
Keep Good Company
We all have probably heard that you are the company you keep. But as your mind ages with your body, this is even more important to maintaining a healthy memory and good cognitive skills. Keeping company with family, friends and caregivers, who stimulate your mind through conversation is vital. Furthermore, engaging with those of a younger generation like your grandchildren, can stimulate parts of the mind that may have been less active in the recent years and help you to remember momentous parts of your life.
What you put in your body is always important for essential organs like the brain to function at peak performance levels. Foods that have been proven to support mental activity include olive oil, eggs, salmon, blueberries, walnuts and almonds, dark leafy greens (e.g. kale and spinach) and even dark chocolate! Aim for a diet combining these foods with a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
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