Old age might mean a decline in one’s mental abilities, but it does not have to be like this for everyone. Even adult brains produce new cells and create new neural connections.
By taking the right steps, you can enhance your cognition and memory all the way to your retirement years. Here are some of the 5 simplest ways to do so.
1. Maintain A Growth Mindset
Learning and trying out something new does not end after you finish formal schooling. In fact, one of the best ways to keep your brain healthy is to continuously learn and practice new skills.
You will need to keep an open mind and be willing to travel, tackle something unfamiliar, or learn something new. This can be easily done at work by volunteering for a special project or taking up a new hobby in your free time.
2. Remain Physically Active
Doing regular exercise can also bring lots of benefits to your memory and cognitive function. Beyond that, you can improve your ability to learn, make good decisions, and even handle stress. This happens because aerobic exercise improves the flow of blood to the hippocampus, which is responsible for your memory.
Beyond that, cardiovascular fitness, most especially for older adults, has been shown to increase brain volume in parts of the brain typically affected by aging.
While you do not need to enroll in a gym, you can take simple steps to become more active. You can take daily walks or join a fun class like Zumba or yoga. You can also invest in a fitness tracker or pedometer to monitor your activity.
3. Aim For Emotional Well-Being
Having emotional balance will do wonders for your physical and mental health, as well as brain health. Being under stress, depression, or anxiety for a long period of time will affect cognitive function and memory.
In fact, cortisol, the stress hormone, can damage the brain when it is exposed to high levels of it.
It is a good exercise to know the root causes or triggers of stress and anxiety, as well as develop the right strategies to cope. You may also educate yourself on the programs of insurance companies or employers that aim to help people deal with stress.
4. Feed The Brain Right
Brain health benefits a lot when you maintain a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants. This means adding some berries, leafy green veggies, fatty fish, coffee, and tea to your diet. Beyond being good for your brain, they are also great for your heart.
5. Allot Time For Restorative Sleep
Waking up from a good night’s sleep feels good. In fact, beyond making you feel refreshed, it contributes to good health and energy. It will also keep your brain focused, as it has been cleared of toxins while you are sleeping.
It is also important to be able to store memories, while not getting enough sleep will manifest in problems with concentration, problem-solving, and reasoning. The best thing to do is to follow your natural sleep cycle and limit caffeine after 2 pm.
Taking care of your brain’s health is simple and straightforward. But doing so will reap so many rewards, specifically making sure your cognition and memory continue functioning well over the years.