Successful Aging Resources
Five Methods for Boosting Brain Health
March 1, 2016
As we age, it’s normal to experience minor relapses in memory functions. The goal is to keep these moments to a minimum and reduce the risk of developing a more severe cognitive disease such as dementia.
Below are five ways seniors in the Hoosier State can boost their brain health.
- Increase the intensity of the senior’s exercise routine
Movement that breaks a sweat is great at any age, and it becomes increasingly beneficial for older adults. According to WebMD, moderate exercise at least three times each week may help prevent conditions that can lead to memory loss, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and stroke.
Increasing your heart rate also triggers the release of a protein called BDNF. This protein promotes healthy nerve cells in the brain that improve memory.
- Challenge your mind with brain games
Games are great ways to increase mental engagement and memory function. There are options for every personality that can be equally effective for boosting the mind and having some fun.
- Memory skills tests like Lumosity or AARP’s Brain Games
- Crossword and jigsaw puzzles
- Traditional card games like solitaire and poker
- Add leafy greens to your diet
Once your exercise routine is on track, you may find you are more motivated adopt a healthy diet to match. Eat Right suggests adding dark green veggies like kale and broccoli to your daily meals, along with berries, omega-3 fatty acids and walnuts (except for those allergic to nuts).
Many sources credit the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, which includes fish, healthy oils and nuts, as the number one option for seniors looking to sustain their memory. In a study conducted by Columbia University, this particular diet reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 34 to 48 percent.
- Continue the learning journey throughout the aging process
Learning is essential to maintaining and improving brain function, especially memory recall.
Learning a new language, taking up a new musical instrument or brushing up on your historical knowledge may help boost your brain power. Residents at Five Star Senior Living Communities can take advantage of activities such as cooking classes, art workshops and book clubs.
- Socialize with your peers and family
Friends and family play an important role in lowering your risk for developing dementia. According to a 15 year study of aging adults performed by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, an active social life reduces the dementia risk in seniors because of the increased emotional and mental stimulation.
If you’re lonely, consider joining the local senior center or moving to a senior living community. Both are great ways to meet new friends later in life.
These five techniques may help you boost your brain health and enjoy a healthy life for years to come.