While your brain changes with age, cognitive impairment is not an unavoidable part of getting older. Maintaining healthy habits can help keep your brain healthy and active, no matter what your age. Here are eight ways you can maintain your overall brain health and decrease your risk of age-related cognitive decline:
Stimulate Your Mind: Activities that engage your mind help preserve brain cells and may even help generate new ones. Reading, educational courses, word puzzles, and math games are excellent activities to keep your mind active as you age. Activities that support manual dexterity and fine motor skills, such as painting, drawing, and crafts, are also helpful.
Get Frequent Exercise: Regular exercise encourages the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, and can promote the development of new brain cells and stronger connections between existing brain cells. What’s more, exercise reduces stress and depression, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and balances blood sugar. In result, your brain, heart, and overall sense of wellbeing will improve.
Consume A Nutritious Diet: We all know that a healthy diet promotes better physical health. However, your mind also benefits from proper nutritional intake. Diets high in healthy unsaturated fats, plant proteins, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts have been shown to decrease the risk of cognitive decline.
Reduce Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is associated with the risk of cognitive impairment. To keep your blood pressure low, be mindful about exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, reducing stress, and eating a healthy diet.
Control Blood Sugar: Diabetes is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia in seniors. The onset of type two diabetes can be avoided through a low-sugar diet, frequent physical activity, and being mindful about keeping a healthy weight. If you have difficulty controlling your blood sugar, speak to your doctor about medications that can help.
Lower Cholesterol: High levels of bad cholesterol (known as LDL cholesterol) can increase your risk of developing dementia. Fortunately, cholesterol levels can be controlled though medication, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and staying lean.
Maintain Emotional Wellbeing: Issues such as anxiety, depression, and poor sleeping habits can reduce cognitive function. If you struggle with mental or emotional health issues that are negatively affecting your daily life, speak to your doctor about your treatment options. Maintaining good mental health and getting quality sleep are crucial aspects of overall brain health.
Regularly Socialize: Maintaining an active social life and forming strong social ties promote emotional wellbeing and encourage mental stimulation. Regular socialization is associated with a longer life expectancy, a lower risk of depression, and lower stress levels.
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