Cognitive decline, which includes memory loss and inhibited concentration, is something that affects everyone as they reach their senior years. However, there are a few habits you can adopt that will reduce your cognitive decline, so it will be less severe when you reach your senior years. In general, this involves exercising your mind just as you work out to keep your physical body in good condition. Here are a few things you can start doing now.
Stimulate Your Mind
You should find new ways to stimulate brain activity each day, such as doing puzzles or playing video games. You can also enrich your life by picking up a new hobby, learning a different language, or taking a college course. As you learn new things, your brain will be forced to create new pathways, which will help you strengthen your memory.
Socialize on a Daily Basis
As we get older, our lifelong friends will begin to pass away or experience the type of decline that requires comprehensive care. That leaves many seniors without the social network they once enjoyed, so it’s important to develop new friendships. Socializing helps boost mood, alleviates depression, and challenges the mind. Developing new friendships can be difficult, but it will help you feel happier and stay active.
Get Enough Sleep
If you’re having trouble sleeping on a regular basis, you should talk to your doctor. When you enter into deep sleep, your brain uses that time to process all of the new information you exposed yourself to throughout the day. That information is stored in the long term memory as you sleep, which is why people who get less than seven hours of sleep wake up feeling foggy and have difficulty recalling memories.
Get a Routine Checkup
As you get older, seeing your doctor once per year is also important. During your routine checkup, you should tell your doctor about any signs of cognitive decline you have experienced. When you report problems sooner, your doctor can diagnose specific problems earlier and may prescribe medications that will help slow the decline. While there isn’t a cure for cognitive decline, your doctor may suggest treatments that can help slow it down.
Keeping your mind active will help you stave off cognitive decline, but your diet and physical activity will also help. By eating more nutritious foods, you’ll be giving your brain the nutrients it needs to stay healthier. Similarly, exercise alleviates stress and keeps brain activity at an optimum level. Living an overall healthy and active lifestyle will help you keep your mind alert well into your senior years.