We all have to get older. Time doesn’t stop for anybody, no matter how much we will it to. However, getting older doesn’t mean your brain needs to slow down, or stop functioning properly altogether. When many people think of ‘old people’, they think of people who are less mobile, forgetful, and unable to look after themselves. There are a few key things you can do to prevent cognitive decline as you age, that should help you to stay sharper for longer.
Get A Bit Sweaty
Exercise has so many benefits, that we would be quite silly to ignore them. Many people say they don’t have the time, but this is because they are overwhelming themselves thinking about what exercise will entail. For example, going to the gym, coming home, getting showered, being ready in time for work/school…the list goes on. Don’t think about that. Think about the results you want. Just about anybody can find time for a 15 minute HIIT workout in the morning!
Go Back Into Formal Education
You don’t need to get a degree, but going back into formal education will keep your brain challenged and healthy. Take any class you like, even at a local college. Ideally, it’ll get you out of the house rather than distance learning.
Stop Smoking Immediately
If you smoke, stop as soon as you can. This is immensely damaging to your brain and many other areas of your body. Plus, it’s getting more and more expensive!
Eat The Right Foods
There is limited research on foods and cognitive decline, but evidence suggests that balanced diets with more fruit and vegetables are helpful in preventing issues down the line. The Mediterranean diet is thought to be particularly beneficial.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Failing to get enough sleep does not just bring short-term negative effects, but long-term issues too. Those who have suffered with things like sleep apnea and insomnia in their lives often have problems with memory and thinking later on. If you fail to make sleep a priority in your life, you may need to look for care for alzheimers sooner than you think.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress can be insanely damaging to all areas of our lives, so learning how to manage it is a must. Depression and anxiety can also be damaging. They are difficult to overcome, but there are many proven methods for helping to ease them. Don’t automatically turn to pills, as this doesn’t get to the root of the problem.
Make Time For Your Friends
Staying socially involved is proven to support brain health, so make sure you have a catch up, even if it’s just a 15 minute coffee break!
Train Your Brain
Make sure you keep your brain trained and challenged with things like puzzles and crosswords. This will help you to stay sharp in the long run!
It’s heartbreaking for many adults to see their parents suffer with things like dementia and Alzheimer’s, so make sure yours are unlikely to have to go through this in the future!