How to Maintain Cognitive Health as You Age
Aging inevitably brings many changes, both physically and mentally. While it’s normal to experience some degree of mental decline with age, there are ways to help protect your brain health and proactively stave off memory loss and maintain cognitive health.
Research points to a combination of healthy habits that can help you preserve and protect your brain’s function over time. Let’s look at four of them below.
4 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp and Your Brain Healthy
Keep your mind stimulated. Mentally stimulating activities can help build and preserve cognitive function. Find hobbies and activities you enjoy such as reading, volunteering, or learning a new skill. Crosswords, sudoku, and other puzzles keep your mind active as well.
Stay active. Physical activity is an important factor in preserving brain health and function. In fact, cognitive decline can be almost twice as common among adults who are inactive compared to those who are active. Exercise also lowers blood pressure, helps blood sugar balance, improves cholesterol levels, and reduces stress, all of which can help protect your brain and your heart.
Eat well. Eating certain foods (and avoiding others) has been shown to slow brain aging and lessen the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As a general rule, follow a healthy dietary pattern that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Try to get protein from plant sources and fish and choose healthy fats, such as olive oil or canola, rather than saturated fats. Avoid fried foods, sugar-sweetened drinks, and excess alcohol.
Stay socially engaged. Remaining socially active supports brain health and could possibly delay the onset of dementia. Stay connected by joining a local group or club and engaging with friends and family regularly.
Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions
Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and other chronic conditions are known to damage brain health. The good news is you can reduce your risk of these health conditions or control them better through healthy changes in your lifestyle.
Maintain Cognitive Health and Fight Brain Aging
Be sure to discuss any concerns about chronic conditions or cognitive decline with your Dedication Health physician and ask about specific lifestyle changes that can help you maintain a healthy mind as you age. Want to schedule an appointment? Call our office at 847-986-6770 to see your concierge physician.