You can eat well to help prevent diabetes, and you can protect your skin from the sun to help reduce your risk of skin cancer, but did you know you can do things to help prevent your mind from going dull? Dementia is a scary prospect, but it doesn’t have to be in your future.
Follow these seven tips to help keep your mind sharp as a tack.
Repetition is one of the best ways to memorize something. Think back to when you were a kid at school – do you remember having to repeat your lessons over and over again? Guess what happened? All of a sudden, you could remember correct answers. The same goes for trying to remember things as we age. Repeat to yourself what you’re trying to remember and there is greater likelihood you’ll remember it.
Be a lifelong learner
Don’t go a day without learning something new. Whether that means you enroll in classes at your local community college or just take up a new hobby, challenge your brain to take on learning a new subject area or task. Research has shown that mental exercise helps keep brain cells active.
Get rid of the negative self-talk
Stereotypes shouldn’t define you. Just because pop culture thinks it’s funny to portray aging adults as forgetful and foolish, it doesn’t mean that’s who you are. Make sure you don’t fall into these negative self-talk traps. Those who believe they are not in control of their mind are less likely to take these steps to help prevent memory loss.
Fuel your mind and body
Focus on eating the right foods to help keep your mind in tip-top shape. Make sure to eat whole foods with moderate amounts of fat and protein but are high in fiber. Foods that are high in fiber are digested more slowly and provide more sustained energy for brain function.
You’re probably sick of hearing it, but exercise is good for you! Of course, it’s good for keeping you in your favorite pair of jeans it’s good for helping prevent heart attacks, but did you know that regular exercise — particularly aerobic exercise — is good for your brain, too? Try to schedule at least 30 minutes of physical exercise each day to stay sharp.
Engage with your grandkids
Besides just being fun, engaging with your grandchildren can provide you some mental exercise. Next time you’re together, think about cooking something together or ask them if you can help them with their homework. These tasks, ones that you’re not used to doing each day, are good small challenges for your brain that all add up. You’ll get a double-whammy of time with your grandchildren a brain-boosting activity.
Schedule a lunch date
Research shows that social connections help improve brain health. Scientists speculate there are a number of reasons why this is true. One such reason is that engaging in conversation with others is mentally stimulating. Additionally, an active social life can also mean that you are less likely to be depressed – a big factor in dementia.