Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
Forgetting names, forgetting what you ate last night or going to the kitchen and forgetting about the reason to come to the kitchen is pretty normal and happens to everyone at every age. But you must have noticed incidents of significant memory lapses in older people. That’s because as we age, our cognitive ability declines. Although there’s no magic pill to prevent this from happening but with these 6 ways you can keep your brain healthy for a longer time.
Exercise not only helps you lose weight but it also has the ability to give your mood a boost, improve the quality of sleep you get and reduce the odds of developing diseases. Moreover, exercise also fosters the growth of new brain cells and protect the existing ones, thereby, maintaining your cognitive abilities. You can either build your strength by lifting weights or you can build your endurance with aerobic exercises or you can practice Yoga. Simply having an active lifestyle can help you have a healthy and strong brain.
Of course, what we eat impacts us in every way. Hence, it is important that you eat healthy food. Avoid foods like red meat and dairy as they have high saturated fat. Include salmon, tuna, walnut, flaxseeds and soybean in our diet as they are rich in omega 3 which improves brain health. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are rich sources of nutrients and are loaded with antioxidants. They help to slow down the aging process. Using herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon and ginger will improve the taste of your food and will also benefit your brain. Similarly, dark chocolate, tea and coffee are also loaded with antioxidants and, hence, are beneficial.
Keep diseases away
Medical conditions can also become the cause of the cognitive decline. Diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity or alcohol abuse – all of them can cause your mental health to weaken as you age. Thus, you need to make sure that you are safe from all these conditions during your mid-age. Stay lean, keep your weight under control, eat right, monitor your sugar and salt intake, stay active; and regularly get health checkups done. These checkups will help you understand your health better and will warn you in advance if there’s any issue developing. If you haven’t gotten yourself checked lately then, get it done now.
Having quality sleep is absolutely necessary to keep the brain healthy. Although these days staying up till late have kind of become a trend, it is only becoming the root cause of many health issues. Quality sleep allows us to stay active both physically and mentally which, in turn, allows us to perform day-to-day activities with efficiency. The key to get quality sleep is to have a calm mind. If you are stressed or unhappy then the thoughts will keep you from having a good night’s sleep. If you are having trouble while trying to fall asleep, then work towards finding the reason. Spend your day close to your loved ones, stay positive, learn stress management techniques, practice meditation and if nothing works don’t shy away from seeking help.
Mentally stimulating activities help in slowing down the cognitive decline in old age. Indulging in activities that stimulate the brain to develop new cellular connections in the brain and also maintain the existing ones. So, read as much as you can, play games that require you to use your mind, try new hobbies, indulge in art, learn a new language – just never stop learning at any age.
We, humans, are social animals. And these relationships that we develop help in maintaining the cognitive functions. Spending time with loved ones and cherishing the relations, socializing and meeting new people help in reducing stress and staying happy. Even, having pets and having an animal you love around you gives you immense pleasure and helps in keeping you mentally calm. Hence, invest your time in developing bonds with all those around you.
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