If you haven’t made your brain health a priority in the past, now is a good time to start. Senior brain health is critical to your continued independence and overall wellbeing, and making an effort to exercise your brain has many benefits.
Unlike losing a few pounds or getting in better shape, brain health is a bit more challenging to measure, but no less important. First, let’s discuss why older adults should make brain health a top goal in 2017, then we’ll suggest a few easy brain-boosting habits you can develop.
4 Reasons To Prioritize Brain Health This Year
1. A healthy brain is a focused brain
Although many older adults complain of “senior moments,” exercising your brain can actually help it stay “fit” for longer. When you improve your brain health, you’re also improving the elasticity of your brain, allowing you to focus better.
2. A healthy brain has a better memory
Just as push-ups make your arms stronger, exercising your brain also makes your memory stronger. Whether it’s remembering small things (like where you parked your car at the grocery store) or big things (like taking medication each day), a healthy brain keeps your memory sharper, longer.
3. A healthy brain may be less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia
While the research on preventing Alzheimer’s or dementia still has a long way to go, many researchers believe mental stimulation could prevent or reduce the effects of brain disease. There are still a lot of unknowns about Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it’s widely acknowledged that keeping your brain as healthy as possible certainly won’t hurt.
4. Your brain makes you…you!
And if those first three reasons aren’t enough, think of it this way: The way you think is who you are. You deserve a healthy brain so you can continue thinking the way you want to think and acting the way you want to act.
How To Boost Brain Health in 2017
Here are five things you can do to improve your brain health this year.
- Exercise. Good news! What’s good for your body is also good for your brain. Being active is associated with a lower risk of brain issues.
- Eat the right foods. A healthy diet means a healthy brain. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with omega-3 fats. Other supplements, like vitamin B-12 and vitamin D, may also positively contribute to brain health, but talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
- Sleep. Your brain needs it. Aim for at least seven hours each night and do your best to go to sleep and wake at the same time every day.
- Try something new. Giving your brain a challenge is a great way to keep it stimulated. Find a new hobby or start learning a new craft.
- Seek out stimulation. Whether it’s doing a daily crossword puzzle, playing brain games online, or simply trading in your time in front of the television for time with a jigsaw puzzle, do what you can to seek out extra brain stimulation.
Just like you make time for weekly exercise to keep your body strong, keeping your brain strong is just as important — and there’s no better time to get started than right now.
Interested in learning more about improving your brain power and overall well-being? Check out our free resource, The Vitality Guide.