Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you can’t keep a sharp mind. As age sets in, so does forgetfulness, a slower learning curve and sometimes foggy memory. By keeping your mind focused, you can continue to learn and grow as you get older, as well as keep your memory intact and reduce the risk of mental illness such as dementia. Follow the 5 easy tips below to keep your mind razor sharp.
- Give your brain a workout. By completing fun and challenging brain exercises daily you work out the right and left sides of your brain as well as prevent memory loss. Some fun brain exercises include crossword and Sudoku puzzles, chess, Chinese checkers, and other puzzles. These keep your mind swift while you have some fun in the process.
- Stay physically active. Participating in even just a few minutes of aerobic exercise a day is a wonderful stimulation for the brain and the mind. Aerobics, such as walking and biking, promotes excellent cardiovascular health, therefore pumping more blood into the brain. Exercise also provides an excellent mental stimulation as it releases endorphins and keeps you healthy and happy. Some great physical exercises geared toward mental health are tai chi and yoga.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Eating natural ingredients, omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, fibers and antioxidants are incredibly healthy for your physique and your mind. Fresh fish provides excellent fatty acids, chicken breasts and turkey are packed with protein, whole grain breads and rice contain a healthy amount of fiber, and blueberries have some of the highest amounts of antioxidants available. Super-foods and proper portions keep the mind energized and charged for agility and stimulation.
- Get proper sleep. Sleeping is incredibly important for mental health. When you get at least 8 hours a night of true uninterrupted sleep, it gives the mind a chance to relax and recharge its batteries. Sleeping also keeps stress levels low, allowing the brain to be refreshed the next day and take on a variety of activities.
- Don’t smoke, and only drink moderately. Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and therefore is incredibly unhealthy for the brain and the mind. Smoking constricts blood and weakens the heart; pumping less blood to the brain. Over consumption of alcohol causes high blood pressure, another risk factor in heart disease. By being a nonsmoker who drinks moderately (1-2 drinks daily), you’re cutting down on heart disease risk, keeping your blood pressure low, as well as minimizing stress—all elements key to good mental health. If you need help kicking the habit, Aventura Hospital offers a Tobacco Cessation Counseling program to assist you.
So whether you’re taking that morning jog you thought about, finishing a crossword puzzle or adjusting your diet, you are striving to keep your brain in top shape while reducing your risk for such conditions as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
For more information on how to keep your mind supercharged, for questions about diet, smoking or to find a physician near you please visit Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. Our Consult-A-Nurse service is available 24 hours a day. Just call 1-888-256-7692.
Why You or a Loved One Might Require Speech Therapy