The process and acceptance of aging comes with many benefits: increase in confidence, financial security, less anxiousness, and excitement to do what you want instead of what you have to do (for those who are retired!). However, there are inevitable changes that aging brings to the body, including the brain. According to the National Institute of Aging some common experiences are: difficulty in recalling information, problems with multi-tasking, and a mild decrease in the ability to pay attention. According to an article in Harvard Health, “mental decline is common, and it’s one of the most feared consequences of aging. But cognitive impairment is not inevitable.” You can be proactive by keeping your brain sharp and below are five tips that could help with cognitive vitality.
Read Every Day
If you want to exercise your brain, pick up a book and read. It is an easy and accessible activity to strengthen your brain. To keep you accountable (and social as a study found those with a social life may have a slower rate of memory decline), you might want to think about starting or joining a monthly book club!
Supplement Your Body
The National Institute of Aging notes that one of the changes that occurs as you age is a decrease of blood flow to the brain. One way to support healthy blood flow is by boosting your body’s natural production of nitric oxide through daily consumption of cocoa flavanols – the plant-based nutrients found in fresh cocoa beans. Data from a study published in Nature Neuroscience showed that daily intake of a high dose of cocoa flavanols enhances the function of a part of the brain that researchers believe is responsible for age-related memory decline. An easy (and delicious!) way to add cocoa flavanols to your daily routine is with CocoaVia™ supplement, which comes in capsules and powdered drink mixes. You can purchase CocoaViaTM directly from their website or on Amazon.
Volunteering in your community will not only make you feel good but also improve your physical health – such as lowering your blood pressure and increasing your life span – according to an article by Harvard Health. When you volunteer and give your time, talents and treasures to helping others, you increase your sense of purpose and improve your mood. This can not only make you feel happier in the moment, but could also have long-term benefits. If you want to keep your brain sharp and tasked with constant thinking and planning, find an organization or non-profit you strongly believe in and apply to be on the Board.
Interact with Grandchildren
While your grandchildren might physically exhaust you, they could also be keeping you living longer! A Parents article discusses a study that found grandparents who contribute to the care of their grandchildren tend to live longer than seniors who do not care for other people. Another study published in the journal Menopause showed that postmenopausal women who watched their grandchildren one time per week had a high cognitive performance.
Take Time to Travel
Research has found social and leisure activities, such as travel, can reduce your risk for dementia. Travel allows you to meet new people, explore different places, and participate in activities that are different from your daily routine. Whether you are traveling somewhere new or going to visit family and friends, you are creating social interaction which is vital to longevity. Paul D. Nussbaum, a Pittsburgh-based psychologist, believes “the novelty of leisure travel—especially the kind that involves navigating an unfamiliar environment on your own—can also boost the brain,” according to a MarketWatch article.
It is important to continue to embrace all the joys that come with aging while being proactive with ways to help improve your brain health.
© 2020 Silver Disobedience Inc. (SP)