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Cognitive impairment is not inevitable. Here are some tips for brain health.
It’s no secret that aging carries a risk of memory loss and cognitive ability. Recent studies show that retirement may actually worsen that risk.
Today, the average American lives to about age 79. That’s a dramatic increase in lifespan over the last hundred years. This has led to a big increase in cases of cognitive impairment as more people age for longer. Here are some things you can do to help maintain cognitive function and keep your brain fit.
1. Use Your Brain
When you stress your muscles they respond by building new muscle to handle the stress. The same applies to your brain. Read, take classes, volunteer to use your skill set, and expand your comfort zone to stress your mental capacity. Social media does not count.
2. Exercise Regularly
Using your muscles promotes brain health by building new nerve cells and increasing blood flow, bringing more oxygen-rich blood to your brain.
3. Feed Your Brain
Food is medicine. How many times do we need to say it? Shop the perimeter of your grocery store, filling your cart with brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Avoid packaged foods that are almost always high in salt, fat, and sugar. It might help to picture that what goes into your mouth is what fuels your brain. Eat accordingly. A good diet will also help to lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the inflammation that leads to many health problems.
4. Stop Excess
Stop smoking and excessive drinking, self-medicating, and social media. If you need help to stop, find supportive friends, family, or groups who will stop with you. Mutual support and socialization are good for your brain.
5. Challenge Yourself
When older adults retire they sometimes need to find a whole new lifestyle. For some, it’s a welcome challenge, but some withdraw and become isolated. Seek out new challenges. Get engaged in brand-new activities that will challenge your skill set. This is exercise for your brain, and your brain will thank you.
Get to know Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) now, and all the home health services available to you and your loved ones, before you have a health emergency. We are proud to be the longest-serving VNA in the state of New Jersey, so we know a thing or two about helping seniors.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) is a leading provider of comprehensive home health care services in Morris, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties in Northern New Jersey. Established in 1898, generations have known that just one call to VNA opens the door to quality, patient-centered home health care solutions that allow patients to remain in the comfort of their homes with dignity, health, and independence.