Aging gracefully is everyone’s goal. But aging is a natural process we can’t stop, unfortunately. However, we can slow it down by selecting proper foods and living a healthy lifestyle. Not only should we exercise our body regularly, but we also need to exercise our brain – especially as we age.
Since our brain is also a muscle, it too can benefit from various activities. Whether we want to increase focus for studying, accuracy at work, memory retention, or mood balance, neuron signaling is critically important for cognitive health.
Specific nutrients, foods, and brain exercises can assist in keeping the synapses firing adequately. Certain supplements like omega-3s, vitamins D3, and antioxidants support brain cell health, and lifestyle factors such as maintaining healthy stress levels, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels can also help. Limiting or avoiding tobacco and alcohol is also a good idea to support brain health.
Exercise of any form increases blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients throughout our body. Increased oxygen intake aids the brain immensely. Exercise can also assist our brain by supporting healthy stress hormone levels.
Reduce stress levels as best you can because stress and stress hormones can affect our memory significantly. Try spending moments throughout your day de-stressing with various activities like deep breathing exercises, tai chi, yoga, meditation, listening to music, knitting, or any other stress relieving activity you may enjoy.
Try learning a new activity like dancing. Learning new dance moves activates the brain to form new neural connections and forces the brain to learn and grow. I recently started taking tap lessons at age 50, and I’ll tell you it’s much more difficult for me to learn the steps versus a young kid.
Get mental stimulation and do not stop learning. Try learning something new like a language, playing an instrument, starting cooking or art classes, watching webinars or podcasts, or simply beginning a spirited debate. All of these activities can be beneficial for stimulating cognitive growth.
Gliding through the Golden Years as gracefully as we can is a goal for many of us. Since aging is a process we all go through, let’s keep those neurons firing as best we can. We have the power to take the steps we need to keep our brains as healthy as possible, as long as possible through diet, supplementation, exercise, stress reduction, and various activities that stimulate our focus and memory.