As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. The mental changes, in particular, can be hard to cope with. Our mental functions become less flexible, our memory decreases in sharpness, it takes us more effort to solve complex problems, and we can be easily distracted by highly stimulating environments. A study on MedLink notes that some neurologic disorders are also more common in the elderly. These include Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Thankfully, it is possible to keep our brains healthy by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Here, we list down some tips that can help support the cognitive function of seniors.
Eat healthy foods
What you eat can greatly impact your cognitive health. In fact, some research reveals that there’s a strong link between the preservation of cognitive function and a healthy diet. To eat healthier, be sure to eat staples such as lean meats, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also, try to limit your sugar, salt, and solid fat intake. In addition, a Mediterranean diet, which promotes high consumption of vegetables and olive oil, and limits consumption of protein, can lower your risk of developing dementia.
Do annual wellness visits
Doctors don’t expect you to report your own thinking and memory issues because you may not be able to recognize them. Because of this, it’s crucial that you have annual assessments that can detect mild cognitive impairment early. In addition, this can also allow your physician to closely monitor your condition. Thankfully, you can go on annual wellness visits where a doctor can obtain your current health baseline and give you advice on how to prevent mental impairments. KelseyCare Advantage highlights how this service is free if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and B) and choose a doctor who accepts Medicare-approved payment as compensation. However, be sure to ask for an annual wellness visit and not a “physical”, as the latter isn’t covered by Medicare.
Control your blood pressure levels
Lowering your blood pressure is not only beneficial for your heart — it can also greatly boost your cognitive health. Recent studies reveal that aiming to have low blood pressure can reduce one’s risk of mild cognitive impairment and help protect one against dementia. However, it can be hard to recognize the signs of high blood pressure. For this reason, it’s important to regularly check your blood pressure at home and talk to your doctor if you find your blood pressure levels to be elevated on a regular basis. Your doctor may recommend medications or even easy lifestyle changes to help control your blood pressure levels.
Try learning a new skill
Even at your old age, you can still expand your memory by learning a new skill. Aside from being a source of fulfillment and enjoyment, learning something new can also stimulate the brain. In fact, it is reported that seniors who actively engage their brains through learning have greatly improved their memory compared to those who didn’t. Aging Greatly lists some easy activities that seniors can easily pick up such as drawing, painting, photography, yoga, creative writing, and cooking.
For more health and fitness insights, be sure to read our other posts here on Fitnistics.
Khalid Irfan is a Fitness expert who enjoys spending time in gym. He also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand his horizons.