We’re sure you’re familiar with the saying that goes,
“You don’t use it; you lose it.”
In other words, if you fail to use a part of your body as frequently as you should, it will become weaker and deteriorate faster.
Brain health is a big concern as people age. As you get older, it is harder to remember things, think clearly, and pay attention.
So what can you do to help keep your brain healthy? Here are a few lifestyle factors that will help you to maintain your cognitive function as you age.
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You would say this one to be a no-brainer, but establishing a pattern for sleeping will help you get more rest per night. This is especially true if you have trouble sleeping.
When something out of the ordinary happens (an event, staying out too late), it disrupts your sleep cycle. By establishing a regular schedule, you’ll notice that you sleep better and feel less tired after a broken sleep cycle caused by an irregular schedule.
The room you sleep in should be cool, dark, and quiet. From a temperature standpoint, find the coolest temperature that gives you comfort in the summer and set your thermostat to maintain that temperature overnight.
When it gets cold outside, get a space heater if needed to bring the room up to an optimal sleeping temperature in the winter months.
Maintain a Walking Routine
Walking is one of the best things you can do daily. It’s free, accessible, and is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on your knees.
Each time your foot hits the ground, roughly one pound of pressure is transferred up through your leg, into your pelvis, and onto your spine. That means that throughout a single mile, your body has absorbed the energy equivalent to what it would have taken to lift a small sedan.
Crazy, we know!
Other small changes you can make:
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs (if you can)
- Take membership of a walking club near you
What you eat and drink is linked to your cognitive health. Foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids include nuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and olives. These foods, when eaten regularly, support optimal brain health by promoting healthy neural connections.
Consider Switching To a Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan that has been shown to improve overall health. It’s also a very delicious way of eating.
The key components of the Mediterranean diet are whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, and olive oil. These foods are known for their heart-healthy benefits.
Find Your Peace
You’ve probably heard of the power of meditation. The Dalai Lama has said, “Meditation is intimately linked with the deep experience of calmness, insight, and peace.”
In fact, 25 minutes of yoga and mindfulness meditation each day can significantly improve brain function and dramatically affect your energy levels. Besides helping you sleep better, this type of yoga and mindful meditation also helps improve focus and concentration in everyday life.
Include Vitamin C in Your Diet
That’s right; Vitamin C is good for more than just fighting a cold. Vitamin C increases cognitive functioning and memory, which is why you might notice yourself looking at life differently after a few oranges.
It is a type of antioxidant known as ascorbic acid. It helps protect the body from oxidation and minimize the impact of free radicals, substances that can ravage your cell tissue if they’re left unchecked.
Here’s how you can include Vitamin C in your diet:
- The brightest colored fruits and veggies like oranges and lemons should be your obvious pick while shopping.
- Skip deep-frying of veggies. Instead, Steaming or microwaving vegetables in water can help retain as much as 50% of the vitamin C and other nutrients.
The tips mentioned above are meant for the normal functioning of a healthy brain. However, if you have brain conditions like Parkinson’s, TIA, or Brain Cancer, you can request personal caregivers from a Fiscal Intermediary associated with CDPAP.
Make sure you are enrolled in the Medicaid program.