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Generally, people tend to regard remaining active and healthy by keeping physically fit and eating a good, staple diet. However, it’s also important to remember to keep our brains healthy by looking after them as much as possible so that we can live as normally as we always have done as we age.
Taking steps to take care of your brain has even been proven to reduce your risk of contracting illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With such great incentives, there’s never been a better time to take action when it comes to looking after your mind.
We’ve come up with some tips to help you and your loved ones stay mentally healthy and active as you age.
Engage in mentally stimulating activities
Endless studies have shown the advantages of using ‘brain training’ tools and games for keeping our minds sharp. For example, playing stimulating brain games on the iPad has been known to be extremely beneficial. Or, for a technology-free alternative, things like Sudoku, crossword puzzles and strategy board games have the same effect. They’re also fairly cheap to pick up and you can get them in large print in most good bookshops as well.
Enjoy an active social life
Keeping your social life active and busy is a surprisingly good way to look after your brain and uplift your mood in general. Whether you’re looking to move into more sheltered accommodation for a bit of extra support or sense of community, like retirement homes with extracare, or are staying at home, aim to socialize with friends and family often. Socializing has been known to reduce stress which is a great way to keep your brain healthy.
Include brain ‘power’ foods in your diet
Just like looking after your body, you should look into upgrading your diet when it comes to looking after your mind. Brain cells can be affected by a high cholesterol diet (which can also lead to heart disease and strokes). Research has shown a connection in particular between dark vegetables and good brain cell health, too. There are loads of websites that you can turn to for inspiration when it comes to improving your diet, such as Change4Life which have tips for your general life style as well as what to eat too.
Stay as physically active as possible
Remaining fit and active is essential for health in general, and physical exercise is vital for maintaining good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage new brain cells. There are loads of physical activities retirees can engage in that aren’t too strenuous but are still useful when it comes to getting (and staying) fit. Some health and fitness centers or gyms offer classes like gentle water aerobics, wheelchair aerobics and line dancing with reduced prices for seniors. This can be a great way to extend your social circle and get to know new people too. Getting enough sleep and rest is also essential for looking after your brain, especially after all that exercise!