The effects of aging are often felt physically, but also mentally. But cognitive decline is not inevitable. Certainly, in the case of dementia, the progressive loss of neurons severely affects the brain. Moreover, even normal aging is accompanied by a shrinking of the brain: it can lose up to 10% of its adult size. But, an adapted lifestyle can help you preserve your brain. Cap Retraite suggests 10 methods to maintain your cognitive faculties to the maximum in old age. Try to integrate these good habits into your lifestyle.
1-Practise a physical activity against aging
We now know that the brain and body are interconnected. The expression “a healthy mind in a healthy body” is true at any age! Physical activity is not only good for the body, but also beneficial for the brain. Sport helps to fight against the aging of the brain.
Physical activity adapted to your level of autonomy will help you keep your brain healthy, in addition to preventing loss of autonomy and the risk of falling.
A study by Dr. Rhyu IJ of the Department of Independence at Korea University School of Medicine found, among other things, that “the level of fitness-enhancing exercise in middle-aged humans is sufficient to increase the level of learning and blood flow in the cerebral cortex, at least during the period in which the exercise is performed.”
2-Read a book
Reading is beneficial at any age and on more than one level. When you read, not only do you gain useful knowledge, but the very act of reading builds connections in the brain and strengthens it.
So, what better idea than a good book to prevent brain aging?
3-Eat a balanced diet
Many foods, including nuts, fish and red wine, are associated with improved cognition.
In addition, a healthy, balanced diet is recommended to combat brain aging.
4-Adopt a good posture
Adopting an upright posture and avoiding bending over all day long improves blood circulation and allows the brain to be better irrigated. Good posture is also beneficial against various deleterious effects of aging, such as back pain, etc.
5-Sleep well and protect yourself from aging
A good night’s sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy brain and is especially important for preserving memory from the effects of aging. Get enough sleep and if necessary, take a nap.
Older adults experience a variety of sleep problems. Lack of sleep increases the risk of dementia. Find our tips for improving your sleep hygiene.
6-Draw, draw or doodle
Whether you can draw like an artist or just doodle, the simple act of drawing is a great exercise for the brain. It’s no wonder that art therapy is becoming a popular way to care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.
7-Listen to music
Music softens the mood and… protects the brain from aging. Studies show that music is associated with improved memory and cognitive function. The benefits of music are numerous, including depression.
8-Learn something new
More and more academic institutions are offering “University of All Ages” programs. Similarly, community social action centers (CCAS), drop-in centers and various associations are organizing lectures or training sessions tailored to older learners.
Whether you decide to learn a new language or acquire the skills needed to use a computer and the Internet, continuing education is a sure way to keep your brain healthy. In fact, some training and conferences will help you learn more about aging itself.
When you stimulate your intellectual faculties, you exercise your brain and improve your mental abilities.
Crossword puzzles are usually the most popular intellectual activity to combat the brain decline associated with aging. But, there is no shortage of intellectual activities. Studies show that puzzles of all kinds are also effective in protecting the brain from aging.
Writing improves working memory and your ability to communicate. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing e-mails to your family, writing a diary or preparing the next bestseller! This intellectual activity is beneficial in itself against the deleterious effects of aging on the brain.
Although there is no clinical way to reverse the effects of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, a healthy, socially and intellectually stimulating lifestyle can help combat the normal decline of the brain with aging. These activities may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.