Cognitive health refers to the ability to learn, remember and think clearly. It’s one element of brain health, supporting us to complete our daily activities with ease. As we get older, our cognitive health can start to decline. According to the CDC, ‘Cognitive health is a major factor in ensuring the quality of life of older adults and preserving their independence.’ Here are 5 ways to take care of your cognitive health as you age.
Eat the right foods
Eating the right foods can keep your brain healthy, as well as your body. Foods that support brain health include fatty fish, like sardines, trout, or salmon. Fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses these to build nerve and brain cells and to support learning and memory. Evidence suggests that omega-3 may prevent Alzheimer’s, and slow down mental decline. Other foods that support brain health include blueberries, turmeric, nuts, and broccoli.
Keep on learning
Learning new things can help you to keep your brain fit and healthy. You can keep learning by practicing languages, word puzzles, or by reading. Creative activities are another great way to keep the brain active. Consider an arts and crafts group, a pottery class, or painting? Learning takes place in many different forms, and can also help you to make new social connections.
Prevent high blood pressure
According to the National Institute On Aging, preventing high blood pressure may support your brain, as well as your heart. NIH stated that ‘ Decades of observational studies have shown that having high blood pressure in midlife — the 40s to early 60s — increases the risk of cognitive decline later in life.’ Visit your healthcare provider, to check your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high, they may suggest diet changes or improving your fitness regime. For certain patients, blood pressure medication is a better option.
Protect your hearing health
Protecting your hearing health is incredibly important. You should be mindful of the noises you’re exposed to, whether it’s concerts or listening to music with headphones. Keep the sound volume low-medium to protect your ears. Use headphones that fit like ear muffs, instead of inside the ear. Studies show that there is a link between hearing loss & dementia. Research suggests that protecting your hearing can help you to protect your brain health too.
Staying social is another great way to look after your brain and your mental health. Catch up with friends and family as much as possible, or join social activity groups. Being social reduces your risk of feeling isolated, anxious, and depressed. All of these things have a negative effect on your brain.
As we get older, it’s important to take greater care of our physical and mental health. We may need support under certain circumstances. Prioritizing your health when you are younger helps to keep up these good habits later in life. With these tips for aging well, you’ll have all you need to take care of your brain health.