As we age, we inevitably notice a decline in memory and other cognitive capacities. Aging is unavoidable, but you can take steps to keep a sharp and sound mind. Maintaining your brain and memory health may be aided by engaging in regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet, and challenging mental exercises.
Our brains naturally slow down as we age. You could forget someone’s name or an appointment from time to time. Awareness of risk factors for cognitive decline is also vital since several factors, such as gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, and hearing loss, have all been linked to a deterioration in brain health.
Ways to Keep Our Mind and Memory Healthy as We Age
A sharp memory is reliant on a functioning brain. You can do many things to boost your memory and mental function, whether you’re a student cramming for finals, a working professional wanting to maintain your mental acuity, or an older adult concerned about cognitive decline.
Even in old age, the human brain has an incredible capacity to adapt and evolve. It is referred to as neuroplasticity. Your brain may build new neural pathways, alter old paths, and adapt and respond in ever-changing ways with the proper stimulation. Here are some suggestions to maintain your mind healthy as we age:
1) Engage in Mental Exercises
Mentally challenging activities may halve your lifetime risk of dementia or memory loss. Try your hand at some crosswords, Sudoku, a card or board game, or even learning a new instrument. You may expand your horizons by joining a club, volunteering, or picking up a new pastime, all of which support your religious or spiritual beliefs.
When we learn new things, the brain forms new pathways between neurons. Solving a puzzle may be an excellent way for senior citizens to exercise their ability to think critically, observe details, and collaborate with others. You may select from many activities, such as the traditional jigsaw puzzle, crosswords, word searches, and memory games.
2) Have an Active Lifestyle
Several scientific studies have revealed the benefits of exercise on the brain. The occurrence of dementia and memory loss is reduced in those who lead active lifestyles. The brain receives more oxygenated blood when an individual engages in physical activity. It gives you more mental and physical stamina.
Similarly, exercise elevates nerve proteins that shield brain cells. Though keeping your mind active is beneficial, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the importance of a good sweat session. Exercising your body keeps your mind sharp. It improves circulation to the brain, which in turn helps prevent diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease that may cause memory loss. Moreover, controlling your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes risk becomes more manageable when you exercise regularly.
3) Get a Good Night’s Rest
The minimum amount of sleep you need to function well is much more than most think you need. It has been estimated that between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night is necessary for over 95% of the population. The loss of even a few hours of sleep is noticeable. We lose the capacity to remember, think creatively, solve problems, and think critically.
However, sleep is significantly more critical for learning and memory. According to research, resting your brain is required for memory consolidation, with the essential memory-enhancing activity happening during the deepest sleep phases.
Establish a routine with your sleep and waking times. If you can, maintain your regular sleeping schedule, even on the weekends and holidays. Avoid using any screen for at least one hour before going to bed. Blue light generated by TVs, tablets, phones, and laptops stimulates alertness while suppressing sleep-inducing chemicals such as melatonin. Caffeine affects individuals differently. Some individuals are susceptible, and even a cup of coffee in the morning might disrupt sleep at night. If you feel it’s keeping you awake, try decreasing it or eliminating it.
4) Engage in Social Activities with Your Friends and Family
Humans are incredibly sociable creatures. We were not designed to live, much alone prosper, in solitude. Relationships engage our brains; connecting with people may be the most beneficial kind of brain workout.
Research shows that meaningful connections and a robust support system are essential for emotional wellness and cognitive health. For instance, a recent Harvard School of Public Health study discovered that those with the most active social lives saw the slowest rates of memory decline.
There are several methods to take advantage of the brain and memory-boosting advantages of socializing. Volunteer, join a group, make it a point to meet friends more regularly or call them. And if a person isn’t available, don’t underestimate the significance of a pet, particularly a very sociable dog.
5) Maintain a Healthy Level of Stress
Stress is one of the brain’s most significant enemies. Cells in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for memory formation and recall, die off and get damaged under chronic stress. Research has linked stress to memory decline as well.
Stress often presents itself in more tangible ways in seniors, including health concerns. Frequent headaches, sleep difficulties, insomnia, weariness (physical and mental), trouble focusing, change in appetite, muscular tension, discomfort, chest pain, stomach upset, and other symptoms of stress may be present.
To maintain a healthy stress level:
- Take frequent breaks during the day.
- Instead of suppressing your emotions, express them.
- Maintain a good mix of work and leisure time.
- Instead of attempting to multitask, concentrate on one activity at a time.
Creating a stress-free environment is challenging. Prioritize your peace of mind over anything else.
6) Have a Good, Long Belly Laugh
You’ve undoubtedly heard that laughing is good for your health, and it turns out that this applies to your physical health and your emotional and mental well-being. When we laugh, we use many different parts of our brains simultaneously, whereas emotional reactions tend to be localized to only a few.
More than that, the parts of the brain responsible for learning and creativity are stimulated when one listens to jokes and tries to figure out the punch lines. Get comfortable making dad jokes and always approach the sound of laughter.
Mental health describes your emotional well-being – how you think and feel and deal with everyday stresses. Planning, asking for support if you need it, taking care of your physical and mental well-being, and making time for the things you love can help you enjoy your later life. It’s just as important as your physical health.
Individuals must prioritize their mental health; we are more vulnerable to various physical disorders and conditions without a healthy and stable mind. Mental health problems are common; nevertheless, following the tips above can help you have a balanced and sound mental well-being.
Express Home Care For Your Aging Loved One
Every person has unique needs; at Tita Homecare Services, we can look after your well-being and safety. From planning special diets, assistance in physical exercises, simple housekeeping, and other personal services. Don’t hesitate to call us through our phone number, 1 (818) 700-8959, or you may send us your details using our online form.
DISCLAIMER: The information and other content provided in this blog, website, or related links are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by your doctor.