Staying mentally sharp is a goal most seniors have. We all want to stay as independent as possible for as long as we can. However, while time is an enemy that works against us (and something we have no control over), there are certain things we can do to keep our mental facilities and ultimately our independence for as long as possible, including:
- Exercising Regularly
- Eating Healthy
- Playing Mind Games
- Quitting Smoking
Many clinical studies have arrived to the same conclusion – exercise slows down the aging process both in the body and mind. According to a report published by the Annals of Medicine in 2006, exercising lowers the risk of developing dementia. The reason believed is that exercising increases blood flow to the brain resulting in better cognitive functioning.
Researchers think cognitive decline might be due to a diet high in saturated fat. By eating a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain, low-fat dairy and fish high in unsaturated fat and Omega 3, you can slow down its progression.
Eating healthy and exercising regularly keeps you mentally sharp and physically in shape regardless of your age. Everyone can do something as far as exercising.
Playing Mind Games
Where exercising works the body physically (and mentally), playing games makes you think and stimulates your brain, thus preventing the onset of dementia. Learning new skills, playing cards and board games, and keeping socially active all work the mind to keep it sharp.
If you have always wanted to learn how to paint or make pottery, join a class. Not only will you learn a new skill, but you’ll also make new friends. Yoga is also another form of exercise that is not only good for the body, but also the mind. With meditation being one of the components of yoga, the mind comes into play as well as the body during every workout.
Smoking is linked to waning cognitive activity, due to its damaging effect on the cardiovascular system, which means reduced blood flow to the brain. If the brain cells can’t get the amount of oxygen they need, they soon die off. Over time, brain cells die off naturally anyway, but smoking quickens up the process, so you lose cognitive ability sooner than you would have otherwise.
While the natural aging process takes its toll on us mentally, you can preserve your mind as long as possible with the four tips in this article.