Aging brings many physical changes to your body. Wrinkles appear, you gain weight without trying very hard, and you’re not quite as strong as you used to be. But perhaps the most disturbing thing about aging is that your mind slows down too. In the past people accepted this as part of getting older, but today we know that mental decline is not inevitable because there are many things you can do to keep your mind young.
It sounds simplistic, but the one thing you can do to keep your brain in shape is to eat right. Just like any other cell, free radicals can damage your brain cells, so you want to eat foods high in antioxidants — fruits and vegetables. These foods render those free radicals harmless. These foods also increase blood flow to the brain and help our bodies make more acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter that aids in mental function.
Stress can be a major contributor to mental decline and studies have shown that people who easily get stressed have a higher risk of cognitive impairment. One thing you should do is make sure you have a good method for handling stress because, in this day and age, it can’t always be avoided. Keeping up with your exercise routine will help and meditation can also be a great stress reliever. In fact, meditation can help improve attention span and memory.
Of course, sleep is important for good brain function as well. While you are sleeping, your brain is actually at work storing and sorting the information from the day. Not sleeping enough leaves things disjointed and you will likely be moody and not perform as well the next day.
One reason why older people suffer from mental decline is that they simply are not as engaged in life as they were at a younger age. With little to do the brain does little – it needs exercise to keep healthy just like the rest of you. It’s important to stay active in your older years – get involved in the community or volunteer to do something you really enjoy. This will keep those little gray cells active.
Finally, you want to keep up with your physical exercise regimen. Not only does exercise increase blood flow to the brain, but it keeps your whole body healthy and gets you out of the house and into the world. If you like to walk, then take some time to smell the roses, engaging all your sense will give your brain a workout as well as your body.