How To Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Grow Older
Keeping your brain healthy as you age is crucial for maintaining happiness not only for yourself but also for the people living around you. Poor brain health can lead to various mental and physical diseases such as depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, body aches, diabetes, and problems with blood pressure.
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Fortunately, there are many things you can do to keep your brain healthy as you grow older. In this article, we will discuss some of the habits necessary to maintain your brain health throughout your life.
The Importance of Brain Health for the Elderly
Compared to younger people, the elderly population needs to put a lot more effort into maintaining brain health. This is because as people age, their bodily functions start to decline, which is a part of the natural aging process. It is important to maintain mental health in order to avoid various diseases.
As people age, the brain tends to lose elasticity, resulting in a decline in cognitive functions, which makes it hard to focus or remember things. Maintaining brain health can slow down the aging process and provide your brain with proper nutrition and energy.
6 Essential Habits To Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Grow Older
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the two most common brain disorders in the elderly. But the good news is adopting some simple habits can delay or prevent these diseases as you age. Below are the six essential habits to keep your brain healthy as you grow older.
Maintain A Daily Routine
The first and most important habit for seniors to keep their brains healthy and active is to maintain a daily routine and stick to it without compromising on the schedule. Older adults with no scheduled daily activities can easily go into depression because of boredom or loneliness.
While it can be beneficial for elderly individuals to spend time with younger people, this isn’t always practical given the busy schedules many young people have. Hence, it is important for seniors to maintain a daily routine to keep themselves busy. Having a daily routine can help keep the brain functioning and healthy.
Seniors should get into the habit of exercising for at least 15 to 30 minutes each day. This can be any simple exercise, for example, taking nature walks, cycling, jogging, swimming, or any other workout you enjoy doing.
Regular exercise maintains physical and mental health, keeps you in shape, and prevents several chronic diseases.
Research shows that regular physical workouts prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the elderly, which are the most common mental health problems seniors experience.
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Adequate sleep boosts your brain’s ability to function well. Additionally, a proper sleep schedule clears toxins associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia, helping to prevent these disorders in older adults.
On the other hand, inadequate sleep can affect concentration, attention, and judgment. It can also increase the chances of dementia and lead to an inability to carry out personal tasks, among other mental disturbances.
Maintain A Proper Diet
If you are not maintaining a proper diet, your overall health will gradually decline, no matter how much you focus on other aspects. It is crucial, particularly for the elderly, to avoid meals rich in saturated fats and sugar as they can cause diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Drink adequate water and follow a diet rich in leafy vegetables, low-fat dairy, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Also, try to include whole grains, fruits, beans, and olive oil.
The 5th essential habit for the elderly to maintain their brain health is to remain social, since isolation can lead to loneliness and depression, negatively affecting their mental health. Try to stay connected with people of all age groups. This can include friends, children, and grandchildren.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Tobacco and alcohol can damage all your body’s organs and diminish your brain functions. Moreover, excessive alcohol intake and smoking puts you at an increased risk of dementia and lung and cardiovascular disease. If you can’t avoid them altogether, try limiting your intake as much as possible.