You don’t have to suffer that “old timer’s” disease of a faulty memory. Just because you are getting older, that doesn’t mean that your brain goes to atrophy. Just assume that your brain is like any muscle. You have to work it out in order for it to maintain its elasticity. You do not run out of brain cells. In fact, there are areas of the brain that produce new cells all the time. As you age, your style of learning and recall may differ but that doesn’t mean losing your keys or forgetting your shopping list is an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.
There are a number of helpful hints to consider keeping your brain healthy and sharp as a tack. By employing them or enhancing what you are already doing, you can expect to hold your own and outwit those younger whippersnappers.
Things to do to keep your Brain Firing on all Cylinders
Exercising not only is good for the body, it is good for the brain. The flood of oxygen in the body from exercising keeps your brain clear and erases those “cobwebs”. Exercising that brain power is another important detail. Take a continuing education class or two. Keep working those crossword puzzles. Anything that engages the brain to think and stretch is a good deal.
Volunteer and be social. Volunteering your time keeps you socially active which keeps depression at bay. Sometimes, retirees are so looking forward to no more work that when their retirement becomes a reality, they become bored quickly and some can become depressed. Keep that from happening to you by joining a book club or get active in your church or other social group.
Sleep is essential to keep the brain fog at bay. Without proper sleep and rest, your brain starts to lag behind. In addition, stress can do the same thing to the brain. If you are stressed about something, talk it over with a friend or other trusted person. Exercising and other activities relieve stress. You just have to find the right thing to help.
Brain food is the name of the game for keeping those synapses firing in your head. Antioxidants, essential fatty acids like omega-3 and minerals and vitamins like the ones in the B family are all important. Choose a healthy, balanced diet that incorporates these things. Supplements might be helpful as well.
What Does Not Help your Brain
Basically all the vices that have cessation aids out on the market are taboo. Drinking impairs judgment and brain cells just as smoking and other tobacco products. In fact, smoking robs your brain of essential oxygen and hinders blood flow as well. If you indulge in a vice that is bad for you, dredge up the willpower to kick the habit.
Do not avoid the doctor. If there is something wrong with you health-wise, it is still going to be happening whether you go to the doctor or not. By keeping your yearly physicals and checking in when you are ill or are concerned about a health issue, you are putting off the brain drain. Check all your medications and see if anything in your diet such as foods, vitamins, minerals or other drugs could be hindering your thoughts and general brain power. There are adverse drug interactions all the time and many older people suffer through them because they are usually the ones on the most medication.
The bottom line is to avoid staying in denial. Get checked out by a doctor and engage your brain. If you have a problem, face it head on and find a solution. Staying proactive is a large part in maintaining your brain through retirement.