05 Apr Tips For Maintaining Brain Health For Seniors
Your brain is one of the most important organs you have, so it makes sense that it should be a focal point of your health. Take a minute to consider some of these statistics:
- The brain works 24/7, even processing and thinking while you’re sleeping.
- Each day, you process around 70,000 thoughts.
- Your brain requires 20% of your body’s energy resources, more than any other organ you have.
For older adults, brain health is especially important. Issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can lead to placement in memory care facilities, worsen current health issues or increase risk of death. By taking proper care of your brain, you can help to reduce the chances that you experience these diseases.
Find out what you can do to improve your brain health as a senior.
Get your daily exercise
We know that exercise is the best way to keep our bodies healthy, but it helps to keep our brains healthy too. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, enriching it with oxygen so it can function at its best. Some studies have found that exercise can also help to build new neurons in the hippocampus, an area that typically loses volume with age. Exercise can also help to grow new blood vessels in the brain, allowing more brain cells to survive and thrive.
Not only does exercise keep blood flowing to your brain, it can reduce your risk of a fall. Falls are a serious threat to seniors, and often cause far worse injuries than a younger person would suffer. If a fall results in a concussion or other brain injury, it can be difficult to recover. As you exercise, include balance training to reduce your risk of falling.
Keep your brain sharp
It’s never too late in life to learn something new. In fact, continuing to learn new things can help to keep your brain active. Consider taking up a hobby that incorporates your fine motor skills, like knitting or painting. This way, you can exercise your brain while building up your hand and wrist muscles. If you can’t engage in a physical hobby, try taking a class online or through a local community college. Formal education has been shown to decrease your risk of cognitive decline, so find a subject that you love and give it a chance.
In order to maintain your brain health, you should also do your best to stay socially engaged. Interacting with others helps your brain to make connections and stay operating at its best. Communicate with others frequently and don’t be afraid to stray out of your social circle – plus, you might just learn something new.
Treat other health conditions
The health of your whole body can impact the health of your brain. For instance, issues like high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes can restrict blood flow to the brain or cause strokes, which damage the brain. By treating these health conditions, you can improve your overall brain health and avoid further issues down the road.
Take stock of your health and see what you could do to improve your wellness. If you are currently smoking, seek assistance from your doctor to quit. Smoking has been linked to cognitive decline and can increase the likelihood of memory loss. A lack of sleep has also been linked to poor brain health; most doctors suggest getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night to keep your brain operating at peak health.
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