As we age, it’s normal to develop slight problems with memory or cognitive functioning. But you don’t have to just accept these issues as an inevitable part of the aging process! Scientists have discovered that there are numerous ways to ward off, or at least postpone, the cognitive decline that we associate with advanced age. So as you work to keep your body young and healthy, remember to take care of your brain, too!
Exercise. Exercise not only prevents weight gain and associated health problems; it also keeps your brain engaged and active. Remember to exercise at least thirty minutes a day for best results.
Get outside. If you can, get that exercise outside. Take a stroll in the park, hike in the woods, or go for a swim at the beach. Even just relaxing outdoors can improve brain function.
Eat fish. Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which improve brain functions such as memory and reasoning skills. But take note: Fried fish isn’t nearly as nutritious as baked, broiled, or grilled options.
Stay social. Researchers found a positive correlation between cognitive function and social engagement. Even ten minutes of socialization per day can make a difference. So schedule a board game night, join a poker group, attend book club meetings, or any other social activity that you enjoy. Remember, too, that chatting on your lunch break at work, or while volunteering for a worthy cause, also counts as social interaction.
Get enough sleep. Sleep plays an important role in rejuvenating both your body and your mind. Do what it takes to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Invest in a quality mattress, comfy sheets, room-darkening shades, ear plugs, a white noise machine, or anything else that helps you sleep soundly. You will notice improved physical and mental health moved here.
Keep your brain active. When it comes to brain function, take a “use it or lose it” approach. Give your brain a little workout with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or trivia games. There are plenty of smart phone apps that you can use, so that your brain teasers are on hand whenever you’re waiting in line, stuck at a doctor appointment, or just have a few minutes to spare.
Of course, the best way to take care of yourself as you age is by scheduling regular checkups with a physician. If you’re concerned about your weight or any other age-related health issue, give us a call. We can screen you for underlying health issues, and help you put together a weight loss or anti-aging plan.