It is normal for your body and brain functions to change as you age. However, you can slow down memory loss and lower your risk of developing mental illnesses such as dementia by maintaining a good routine to keep your brain healthy. There is a lot of focus on keeping your body healthy, which is why people often neglect exercising their minds as well. Give your brain a daily workout with these five tips for improving your brain functions.
It is important to exercise regularly and eat healthily to maintain and improve your brain functions. Research shows that older adults who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in brain functions. They also have a smaller risk of getting mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. By exercising, you can decrease your blood pressure while promoting blood flow to the brain. By exercising at least five times a week for 30-60 minutes, you should be able to improve your brain functions. You can’t forget about your nutrition as well. Aim to eat a diet rich in whole grains, fish, and healthy fats to promote the proper functioning of your brain.
Socialize with Others
Increased social interaction has been proven to promote an improvement in one’s cognitive functioning. By remaining socially active, you can decrease your risk of having depression as well. Try getting your loved ones to take part in activities that promote cognitive growth such as coloring or Sudoku. If your loved one lives alone or is alone when their caregiver is at work, virtual meetings are also an option. Sign your loved one up for Zoom or Facebook to allow them to connect with other family members and friends easily. Usually, community libraries offer free classes to teach older adults the basics of technology, so going to one of those classes can be useful!
Stress seems to be an inevitable part of our daily lives. It is important to maintain your levels of stress in order for your brain to keep functioning optimally. Consider practicing yoga and mindfulness to get your stress levels down. Not only does yoga reduce stress, but it also strengthens your bones, improves your flexibility, mobility, and strength, reduces the risk for depression, alleviates aches and pains, and improves sleeping habits as well. Aim to practice mindfulness in all parts of your daily routine, but if that is not possible, don’t worry. Setting aside five minutes before bed to reflect on your day can have a great impact on your cognitive function as well.
Get Plenty of Sleep
An average older adult needs to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. This allows your brain to get the rest it deserves to repair itself. Older adults may find themselves lacking sleep due to changes in sleeping patterns as they age, resulting in sleep deprivation. To combat this, try sleeping at the same time every night and avoiding caffeine, electronic devices, and alcohol at least 4 hours before bedtime.