Brain Health for Boomers
Brain Health for Boomers
It’s somewhat ironic that I’m writing this while I feel like I’m in a state of “brain fry.” I just returned from 2 ½ weeks overseas, so I have some jet lag. We are in the process of closing on our house in a little over a week. And we are packing up to move to another country!
All that being said, I truly do believe keeping your brain healthy is a vital part of your overall well being. Especially as you age. So what’s a person to do to keep your brain healthy? We read a lot about keeping physically active, but what about staying mentally active?
Well I have several recommendations to help you keep your brain in good condition.
|Our friends and tour guide on a bike tour of Lisbon.
Stay physically active.
The CDC and ACSM recommend that adults participate in 2 ½ hours of moderate physical activity weekly, in addition 2 or more times a week of strength training.
There is a strong connection between physical activity and mental well being. Don’t forget to consult with your medical professional before beginning any new physical activity.
Stay mentally active.
Activities that stimulate you mentally ward off symptoms of memory loss. Try something that you’ve always wanted to learn but maybe haven’t had time for. Maybe it’s playing the piano or learning a foreign language. It doesn’t have to be major, it can be something as simple as doing puzzles, making new recipes, or maybe just taking a different route to your favorite park or restaurant.
This one has been tough over the past two+ years. Socialization helps reduce the amount of stress and depression many experience. Connecting with others through social activities can keep your brain active and help you feel less isolated and more engaged.
Keep fit through sleeping well and eating a healthy diet. While the direct relationship between a healthy diet and dementia is still being studied, it has already been established that a healthy diet reduces your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
High blood pressure has been scientifically linked to an increased cognitive decline later in life. As discussed in a previous blog, sleep too, plays a key role in remaining sharp.
We all experience a certain amount of stress in our lives. Chronic stress; however, can lead to memory loss. We can't avoid stress, but we can work on modifying how we handle stress.
Some strategies include: Make time for yourself. Unwind, take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, take a quiet walk. These are some ways many have found successful in coping with ongoing stress.
It's that mind body connection. By taking steps to improve your lifestyle you are also taking steps to reduce your risk of dementia.