As you age, engaging your brain not only leads to happiness and fulfillment, but it can decrease your risk of dementia or other types of memory loss. Here are some ways to keep your mind sharp.
- Exercise your body and mind. Scientist say regular aerobic exercise may be the single most important thing you can do for the long-term health of your brain. Everyone should have a goal of at least 30 minutes of physical activity every other day. The mind and body are interconnected so regular exercise goes a long way to keeping the brain healthy. Also mentally challenge ourselves on a regular basis, we can maintain good intellectual potential as well as reduce our risk for age-related memory loss.
- Maintain Good Posture. Maintaining an upright, un-slouched posture improves circulation and blood-flow to the brain. This can help keep you more alert and focused. When sitting for a long time, you might be tempted to cross your legs or slouch. The best way to keep good posture is to keep both feet planted on the ground.
- Listen to Music. Music affects the brain profoundly, and has been linked to improved cognition and memory functioning. Stress and anxiety are also reduced when listening to music. Research has shown that listening to music can calm people down, even during highly stressful or painful events.
- Meditate. The brain needs time to restore itself and reflect. Take 10 to 15 minutes each day to quiet your mind and focus on only one thing: your breathing. Not only will you give your brain an opportunity to recharge, but the focused breaths will promote blood flow to it, too.
Don’t be embarrassed if you notice you or a family member are having memory issues. It’s better to know so you can address the problem with your doctor.
At Samaritas, our experts in memory care recommend having a baseline assessment, even before you notice any issues. Also, West Michigan is a haven for available resources, seek out Rethinking Dementia’s online resource guide or the Alzheimer’s Association.