Elderly individuals often face a big problem when they realize that their memory is fading away gradually. It might not happen instantly, but they start forgetting important dates, events and slowly move towards chronic memory loss diseases. Dementia, Alzheimer’s are dreading thoughts for seniors.
If you are on the path of seniority, then you can still work on your brain and prevent it from complete damage. All your brain needs are a little bit of exercising and tweaking. Seniors often concentrate on working out for muscles, and yoga for a fit body, but they do not realize the significance of training their brains. It can be done with minimal effort. The benefits are endless and can save you from hazardous situations.
So, here are few of the measures that you can take, habits you can inculcate to exercise your brain and nurture it from within. You do not need an expensive gym membership, nor a dietician or a life coach. Just note down the following things and try to do it on a regular basis.
No.#1: Follow a Healthy, Balanced Diet
- Eating healthy foods has always been on the priority list for many seniors, but they fail to do so. If you eat a wholesome diet, then you can not only lose your weight but also gain cognitive abilities for your brain. Skip the processed and canned foods, and switch to foods which are rich in vitamins, Omega-3s and other nutrients.
- Green leafy vegetables, walnuts, soybeans, fruits, flaxseed, seeds and nuts, fish are all great examples of best brain foods. In a research study, it was proven that adults above 65 experienced a slower rate of cognitive decline when they eat more leafy vegetables on a regular basis.
- A similar research study in Finland involved the effects of Omega-3-rich foods on older adults. It was observed that they had 26% of reduced risks of developing dementia as compared to the group not consuming fish regularly.
No.#2: Workout Regularly
- As we have mentioned earlier that moving your body can help you reduce weight and other health hazards. Working out for at least half an hour a day for 4 to 5 times a week could do miracles for your brain. Exercising helps you to be alert and focused on your task. It helps you live in the present. In a university study, it was proven that regular exercise can enrich a person’s brain cells and make him/her revitalized. It also sharpens his mind, fights against fatigue, and offer other brain health benefits.
- Other health benefits of exercising are – lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthening bones, increasing muscle strength, body fat loss, sugar control, reduced risks of depression, improvement in confidence, posture and self-esteem.
No.#3: Sleep Well
- When you sleep, you do not waste your time but process all the daily activities, and work on them. Your memory is getting consolidated. In technical terms, your memory is being updated when you are on the charging mode. So, like your smartphone and electronic gadgets, your brain also needs productive rest in the form of a good night’s sleep.
- It has been proven in several scientific types of research that a person’s memory can improve and stabilize when he seeks enough sleep at night. So, get your mind and body recharged tonight and every night.
No.#4: Engage your Brain in Activities
- One of the favorite pastimes of older adults is television. Yeah, some might have become upgraded and switched to computers instead. But it is not a meaningful activity. You are just passively watching television, and your brain is idle, not even resting. Instead, try to indulge in random activities that can train your brain a little. We do not expect any high-level activities, but something small and easy to do at home.
- Example are listed below:
- Watching a football game with friends.
- Playing a game of cards with friends.
- Joining a book club.
- Use an app to train your brain
- Solving puzzles and riddles given in the newspaper.
- Weaving and knitting.
- Learning new skills.
No.#5: Engage with Like-Minded and Positive People
- As we age, we crave for more connections with humans and not with gadgets and non-living things. We have listed some of the social activities in the previous points, such as joining any clubs and associations. Involving in charity work can help you meet nice people and let you immerse in noble work. Social connections can help in increasing memory recall and being in the present, thereby enhancing mental functioning.
- People who are in isolation and prefer to watch TV instead of socializing suffer from signs of depression and anxiety. Further, they might even suffer from social anxiety if they do not get in touch with other people. So, like healthy food and proper workout sessions, it is advisable to interact with people, talk with them and be cheerful.
No.#6: Try to be Organized
- If you are a bit organized with your belongings, then finding things at the right time will be much easier. You do not have to rack your brains and vacate your energy levels completely in searching for the car key or your journal.
- Consider retirement as a blessing and invest time in simplifying your things. It could also mean intangible things like relationships, mental clutter, grudges and regrets. The more you organize your life emotionally and physically, the more it will be better for your brain to function effectively.
No.#7: Beat Stress
- Though retirement does not allow office stress in your life, there could be an accumulation of past worries in your mind. Something nasty must be still resting in your brain without your knowledge. So, learn to manage your stress levels with the right techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, Tai-chi, drinking green tea, using essential oils and much more.
- Stress is harmful to your brain as it does not let you think actively and lowers down it’s functioning. Your memory might become stagnant if you allow stress rest in your brain.
No.#8: Quit Smoking
- Smoking is another reason that can lower your memory recall. Quick smoking instantly if you are a regular one. If it is difficult for you to quit, then you can take up counselling, any creative pursuit, medicines, or a nicotine replacement. Believe us; this decision will help you immensely in the long run.
No.#9: Go for a Body Check-up
- Body checkups not only help in analyzing your body condition but can also help in curing brain-related ailments. If you are on medications, then it can also affect your memory. So, go for a checkup and treat these issues at the earliest.
No.#10: Use Memorization Techniques
- You can always be creative when it comes to memorizing new things. For instance, reading aloud the newspaper or a story. You can also picture something in relation to a thing or a person.
- Set reminders on the phone for certain things like drinking water or taking medicine.
- Sticky notes can also be a great tool to remember important things and to leave notes for your loved ones.
In a nutshell, improving brainpower for older adults is an essential aspect. If one takes extra initiative and efforts for the same, then they can prevent several brain health hazards. Do not commit the mistakes of the old but remember their important lessons.
- http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/how-exercise-can-strengthen-the-brain/ – Physical exercise has a positive impact on brain cells.
- http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/how-exercise-can-strengthen-the-brain/ – All health benefits of regular exercising.
- http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm107783.htm – Leafy greens have a positive effect on elderly people.
- https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/default.htm- – Significance of sound sleep on a healthy brain.
- https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/video/rippe-understanding-stress-levels – Stress has a damaging impact on your memory.
- https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/ss/slideshow-13-best-quit-smoking-tips-ever – Negative effects of smoking on a person’s memory.
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