As we age, our bodies change, but did you know that our brains change too? It may take longer to learn new things or remember information as we get older. Our health might decline, and our bodies become frail. There are ways to combat these changes.
It’s normal to experience some memory loss as we age, but we can do things to help improve our cognitive health. In this article, we’re going to break down ten tips and activities that can help improve memory and keep your mind sharp!
Eat Healthy Foods
According to Harvard Health, eating well can help improve cognitive health. Just like the rest of your body, eating well is good for your brain health too! Eating lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can help keep your cognitive health strong. Foods high in antioxidants, like blueberries and spinach, can also help protect your brain from damage and improve memory.
If you’re not a fan of vegetables or fruits, don’t worry! You can still improve your cognitive health by altering your diet. Try adding spices like turmeric or saffron to your meals, as they are both known for their mental benefits.
Exercise is excellent for overall health, including brain health. A study published in the journal Neurology found that people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of cognitive decline as they age.
Try taking a walk around the block, going for a bike ride, or even doing some stretches. Anything that gets your body moving will benefit your cognitive health and improve memory. Swimming is also a great form of exercise for cognitive health because it improves blood flow to the brain and can help with memory recall.
Studies show that people who are socially active have better cognitive health as they age. Participating in social activities can help keep your mind active and engaged.
Some great ways to stay socially active and improve memory include joining a book club, playing cards with friends, or attending lectures and events at local libraries.
Play Cognitive Games and Puzzles
Games like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and playing cards can help stimulate cognitive health! These games help keep the mind active and challenged, which can help improve memory and cognitive health.
You can also try online cognitive games specifically designed to improve cognitive health. These games can be fun and challenging, and they’re a great way to keep your mind active while you’re sitting at home or on the go.
Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is vital for cognitive health. The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Establish a regular sleep schedule, so your body knows when it’s time to wind down. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine that includes reading, stretching, or listening to calming music can improve memory and stress levels.
Stress can have adverse effects on cognitive health, so it’s essential to keep it in check! Techniques like yoga and meditation can help reduce stress levels and improve memory. So, if you’re feeling stressed, try taking some time out of your day to practice mindfulness.
Hydrotherapy can also help manage stress. A warm bath or a trip to the pool can be therapeutic, and it’s excellent for maintaining physical health. Conventional bathtubs can be dangerous since they have a slippery surface. On the other hand, walk-in tubs are a much safer bathing alternative since they’re equipped with an anti-scald system, anti-slip surface, and grab bars, just to name a few. Not to mention, they come with hydro jets and are excellent for hydrotherapy.
Dehydration can cause a myriad of health problems, including cognitive impairment, so it’s essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go and aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
If you’re not a fan of water, you can still get the cognitive benefits and improve memory by drinking other beverages like herbal tea or fruit-infused water. You can also eat foods that contain a high amount of water, such as watermelon or cucumber.
Supplement With Omega-Three Fatty Acids
Looking to improve memory and brain function? Omega-three fatty acids are essential for cognitive health, and a study found that they may help prevent cognitive decline.
You can get omega-three fatty acids by eating salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts. Or, you can supplement with omega-three capsules or fish oil. Another source of omega-three fatty acids is krill oil, which is a good option for seafood allergies. These nutrients are excellent for consumption if you’d like to improve memory.
Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
The National Institute on Aging recommends that adults limit their alcohol consumption to two drinks per day if they want to maintain cognitive health and improve memory. Tobacco use, mainly smoking, can cause memory loss and dementia.
A glass of wine every once in a while is fine, but anything more than that could lead to cognitive decline. So, if you want to keep your cognitive health in check and improve memory, it’s essential to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Have Annual Checkups With Your Doctor
It’s essential to keep up with regular medical care to detect and treat cognitive decline early. Your doctor can do cognitive tests to see any changes in your cognitive health.
Regular checkups also allow early detection of other health conditions that can cause cognitive decline. For example, cognitive impairment can be a symptom of high blood pressure and diabetes. If cognitive decline is detected early enough, your doctor may be able to treat the underlying cause of it. So, don’t skip your annual checkups if you want to improve memory and maintain your cognitive health!
Rely on Cognitive Stimulation to Improve Memory and Cognitive Health
Cognitive stimulation is essential for cognitive health because it helps keep the brain active and engaged. There are many cognitive stimulation activities you can do to improve memory. Lack of cognitive stimulation can lead to cognitive decline, so it’s essential to keep your brain active.
Some cognitive stimulation activities include reading, playing games, doing puzzles, and learning a new language. These activities can help improve memory, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.
These are just a few tips to help improve cognitive health and improve memory as we age. The good news is that cognitive decline doesn’t always have to be permanent. Cognitive health can improve if cognitive impairment is detected early enough and treated appropriately.
If you’re worried about memory loss, cognitive decline, or cognitive impairment, or you’d like to improve memory and cognitive health, it’s essential to talk with your doctor.
Do you have any tips that we missed? Let us know.
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