What’s the word?! It’s on the tip of my tongue! Why can’t I think of it? Where did I leave my keys? This is so frustrating! Many of us are all too familiar with these age-related frustrations. Cognitive decline, described as forgetfulness, slower reaction time, weaker problem-solving skills, and reduced mental flexibility, is a natural part of aging, but it might not have to be. Below are five ways to support cognitive function as you age to ensure you enjoy every moment and remember them!
A study published in Brain Imaging and Behavior found that middle-aged adults who participated in brain games, activities designed to improve and maintain cognitive function, were less likely to experience cognitive decline. It’s like daily aerobics for the brain. Traditionally the only options were crossword puzzles and Sudoku, but not anymore! Web-based brain games offer brain training through smart phones, tablets, and computers. The brain is similar to the muscles in your body. If you don’t use it, you lose it…so keep that brain busy, engaged, and challenged.
Diet and Supplements
Food is medicine, or it can be if chosen carefully. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as well as fats and proteins rich in Omega-3s support a well-balanced body and brain. Take it a step further by adding a plant-based supplement proven to improve memory. Remember the word that is on the tip of your tongue? That’s called word recall. And where you left your keys? That is called spatial memory. And remembering valuable memories from childhood? That is called long-term memory. CocoaVia™ Memory+ has been proven to improve these three different aspects of memory in eight to twelve weeks by harnessing the power of cocoa flavanols to improve blood flow to the an area of the brain that often declines with age. Add Memory+ to an already healthy and balanced diet to stay sharp and in control of your mind as you age.
Maintaining friendships and relationships with family members is extremely important for brain health. A research review published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that lower levels of social isolation and higher levels of engagement in “social activity” resulted in less cognitive decline later in life. The study found that the more you stay connected to friends and family, the better your brain will function as you age. So, call up your friends, start a lunch bunch, get a walking buddy, or schedule weekly dinners with friends or family. If you don’t have a strong circle of friends or family nearby, join a volunteer organization. Be a part of something and give back. The sense of purpose will stimulate your mind, and you will meet like-minded people in the process. It’s never too late to make a new friend!
Learn Something New
A study published Psychological Science found that older adults who challenged themselves by learning something new had stronger results on memory tests than those who did not. The participants learned quilting or photography, which was completely novel to them, and had a social component through the class setting. Think of something you’ve always wanted to do and give it a try. Find a class and step out of your comfort zone. Never stop learning to maintain a strong mind and memory.
Aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart pumping, is not only beneficial for heart health and weight maintenance, but it also benefits the brain. Research published in The Journals of Gerontology found that aerobic exercise improved cognition in older adults compared to older adults who did not exercise. If you aren’t already doing it for your physical health, do it to keep you brain firing on all cylinders as you age!
Aging is a gift and a natural part of life. We grow in wisdom, experience, and confidence with every passing year. Safeguard your memories and your mind, so that cognitive decline doesn’t rob you of your memories or your golden years. Make the most out of every moment by keeping your mind sharp and healthy.
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