As we age so does our brain. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, adults who frequently engage in mentally stimulating activities were 63% less likely to develop dementia.
Here are some ways you can keep your mind sharp:
Of all the things you can do to help keep your mind young, exercise is the most important. Staying in good physical shape can help prevent some of the effects of aging. The key is to choose a fitness plan that you can stick with and do consistently.
2) Get a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep is vitally important to keeping your mind healthy and it is beneficial for your memory. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School learning and memory has three components: acquisition, consolidation and recall. Acquisition and recall occur when you are awake, but research suggests that memory consolidation happens when you sleep. This process strengthens the neural connections that are the foundation of our memory. Getting adequate sleep at night also helps keep you alert during the day so you can make the most of daylight hours.
Reading keeps your mind active and engaged. Also, the act of reading builds connections in the brain.
Keep a journal. Not only is it a good exercise for your brain, it help keep memories of the day fresh. Writing also improves your ability to communicate.
5) Listen to Music
When you listen to music it has a profound effect on the brain. Music has been shown to improve cognitive and memory function.
6) Do Puzzles
Like jumping jacks for your brain, solving a puzzle is a workout for your brain. A study conducted at University of Michigan found that by playing mentally challenging games adults could dramatically improve their memory. From crossword puzzles to Sudoko to jigsaw puzzles, they are all good for your mind.
7) Sit Up Straight
When you were a kid were you always been told to sit up straight? Research shows that good posture improves circulation and blood flow to the brain.
8) Learn Something New
Experts theorize that pursuing education helps your memory as you age because it gets you into the habit of being mentally active. Challenging your mind is believed to activate processes in your brain which help maintain brain cells.
It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby, learn to speak a new language, volunteer or take a class. Many community centers and local libraries offer a variety of free classes.
9) Be Social
Both developing new relationships and deepening old ones keeps you active and your mind engaged. It is just one more reason to meet your neighbors or spend time with friends and family.
10) Shake Up Your Routines
Try doing something outside of your normal routine, such as driving by a different route or shopping at an unfamiliar grocery store. This will force you to flex your mental muscles.
If you have a parent who will be moving to a care facility it is important to consider what opportunities they will have to keep their mind active. We suggest looking for a facility that offers multiple activities throughout the week which engage residents who have a variety of interests. Here at Valley Comfort we believe in keeping our residents active. The ways we keep our residents engaged include live entertainment, regular exercise and daily actives.