Health and Wellness |

5 tips to keep your mind sharp at any age

November 24, 2020
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older man carrying young girl grandparent

It’s never too late to look after your brain health and take some positive steps in the right direction to maintain a sharp mind. As our bodies age and we try to keep healthy by maintaining strong muscles, the same is true for promoting healthy brain function.

we must also Just as our bodies age, we can help keep healthy by maintaining strong muscles and joints, the same is true for our brains.

Investing in brain health, at any age, allows you to take control of your wellbeing and reap rewards for many years to come. And now thanks to decades of research there are many ways you can learn how to keep your mind active, prevent cognitive decline and potentially reduce your risk of dementia [2].

1. Keep learning

Challenging your brain through mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them [1]. Quite simply when you challenge your brain to learn new things, it must grow new brain cells to accumulate the knowledge. Learning new skills also changes the way connections are made in the brain, keeping it active. Pursuing a hobby, learning a new skill, volunteering or mentoring are additional ways to keep your mind sharp.
Consider learning a new language, embracing the benefits of technology, learn a new recipe, take up craft or gardening.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”—Anthony J. D’Angelo

2. Remain socially active

Connecting with other people is in our nature and remaining socially active as we age offers wonderful benefits for our brain health, emotional and physical wellbeing. Social interactions keep brain cells alive and can amazingly help the brain to grow new ones. Our brains continue to grow new cells even as we age, as long as we remain active. Interacting with others, learning new things from them and exchanging information keeps the brain active. Remaining social also helps to reduce anxiety and depression which can affect the brain negatively.

Be offer a range of one-on-one and group social activities across our regions. Click here for more details.

3. Create a positive mindset

Creating a positive mindset plays an important role in maintaining a healthy brain. Don’t underestimate the power of your own mind and how gentle nurturing and implementing exercises for the mind can increase neuroplasticity. You can learn to reduce negative thoughts by practicing mindfulness, focusing on a positive future, accepting the past, and focusing on solutions.

The benefits of meditation are plentiful with research finding those who meditate experience increased focus, improved sleeping patterns, reduced stress and positive pain management [3].
Meditation and reducing negative thoughts takes practice but the good news is that these skills can be learned and contribute to positive wellbeing.

4. Exercise and eat well

Practicing healthy eating and physical habits will contribute to positive brain health and can build resilience to the early signs of dementia. Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting enough sleep will support the growth of new brain cells as you age. Focus on eating a variety of foods vibrant in colour and food promoting heart health. Read more about that here.

Aim to move your body everyday by embracing exercise that’s right for you. Dance, swim, walk, chair yoga or weights – exercise improves vascular health, increases blood flow to the brain and makes positive neuromolecular changes.

5. Remain curious

Along with learning new skills, the ability to remain curious will keep your brain active and challenge it to constantly take in new information. Look for new and interesting things to do in your community. Meet your neighbours, explore a town near-by, create new intergenerational connections, try a new walking track or take a class.

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/news/2018-05-15/bilingual-brains-are-more-resilient-dementia-cause-alzheimers-disease

[2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/6-simple-steps-to-keep-your-mind-sharp-at-any-age

[3] https://homecareassistance.com/blog/meditation-benefits-for-seniors

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