Thanks to the innovations in healthcare and other technological developments, humans are now living longer than ever before. While of course this is a good thing, it does bring about a very unique challenge that we hadn’t faced before: cognitive decline. This term can be a bit anxiety inducing, as it is only natural to fear losing control of one’s mental faculties with age.
That being said, we do have some good news – there are a few things that you can do in advance to improve brain health and cognitive function! Our team here at our senior living community in Macomb has compiled a few tips that you will want to check out. Keep reading to learn more!
1.) Engage in regular exercise throughout the week.
It is no secret that our brains serve as the control tower to the rest of our bodies. When we exercise, we aren’t just providing our bodies with a workout, but our brains as well! This means that any kind of physical activity will have some positive benefits. Taking a brisk walk around the senior living community in Macomb, going for a swim or a bike ride, or even playing a round of tennis or badminton will certainly do the trick.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, including helping with anxiety and depression. Not only that, but it can also provide a positive impact on weight, blood pressure, balance, strength, and so much more! According to federal guidelines, all adults should get about two and a half hours of exercise each week.
2.) Maintain a healthy and well balanced diet.
What we eat serves as fuel for our bodies as well as our brains. That is why when we eat good, nutrient rich food such as lean meats, whole grains, plus fruits and vegetables, we often feel better, have more energy, and are more alert and ready to go.
However, when we load up on too much sugar, simple carbohydrates, processed foods, and fatty meats, we often feel sluggish. Not only are we tired and drained, but our brains aren’t as sharp. It can make it hard to learn new skills, process new information, and feel focused on the task at hand. If you find yourself feeling this way, double check your diet! Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated and watch your water intake. Proper hydration is all the more important now that summer is in full swing.
3.) Keep your brain engaged.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your brain health is find a hobby or activity you love. For many seniors, they look forward to retirement because they will finally have the free time they need to pursue their interests. Whether it be golfing, taking a dance class, learning photography, sewing or knitting – there is no right or wrong answer! It all boils down to what you want to do.
These sorts of hobbies and activities keep the brain engaged. When you enjoy something, it releases endorphins and dopamine. These signals allow for activity inside the brain, which helps with cognitive function. As an added bonus, it will give you something fun and exciting to look forward to each day!
4.) Build strong social connections.
People need people – this fact is just human nature. Having friends and family to stay in touch with helps seniors to feel more connected to the world around them as well helping to boost morale. Knowing that you have someone who cares about you and your well being is a true gift.
Many seniors, however, struggle in this area. This is especially hard for an older person who has lost their spouse or life partner recently. It can be very disheartening to try to make new connections. That being said, one of the best benefits about moving to a senior living community in Macomb is the opportunity to meet new people and create friendships with other seniors! Finding friends who understand you is very important, and remember, you are never too old to make a connection.
5.) Stay on top of your stress management.
Even retired folks can get stressed! In fact, if prior to retiring you were very career driven and were somewhat of a workaholic, suddenly stopping can feel stressful. When left unchecked, stress can do a number on our bodies and our brains, leading to stomach ulcers, digestive issues, an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and so much more.
Though it is best to avoid stress, we understand that doing that is normally easier said than done. We strongly advise staying on top of your stress management by finding ways to unwind throughout the week or whenever you have had a particularly hectic day. Go for a walk to clear your mind, spend time out in nature, hang out with your pets, read a good book, visit the spa, try a yoga session – however you relax, just ensure that you’re making time for it.
Maintaining senior brain health is extremely important, especially as we age. It is normal to be concerned about cognitive decline. And while there is no cure yet for dementia, taking some preemptive measures can go a long way. Exercising, eating good foods, staying connected with hobbies and friends all while avoiding stress is an excellent place to start.
Senior Living Community Macomb
Are you interested in moving to a senior living community? Then you will want to check out what we have to offer here at The Parkdale! Our senior living options include independent living, enhanced living, memory care, and even respite care services. You will want to schedule a tour as soon as possible to get a first hand look at our gorgeous facility and well maintained grounds.
Head over to our website to learn more or feel free to contact us today! We know you are going to truly love being a resident here at The Parkdale.