It is never too early to focus on our cognitive health. As we age it’s normal for our bodies to change, but there’s a lot we can do in our daily life to keep these changes minimal and continue to stay healthy and strong. This includes our cognitive health as well. Your body works like an orchestra and is strongest when everything is working together in harmony. Just like a workout routine, it’s important to have a cognitive fitness routine to keep your brain healthy in unison with your body. Here are some everyday things you can do to keep your mind sharp as life goes on!
1. Exercise regularly. Studies show that regular exercise is not only great for our bodies, but also for our brain health! Along with physical benefits, exercise can help boost our problem-solving skills, reduce cognitive decline, help us think clearer, learn faster, and have more emotional balance in our lives. Sounds pretty nice!
2. Get some sleep. Sleep is imperative for our overall health, but especially for our brain. During sleep, there are structural and physiological changes that are happening that can affect our capacity to learn and store memories formed during the day. Restorative sleep promotes consolidated experiences, ideas, and memory, and has been shown to enhance attention, problem-solving, and creativity. Check out our blog on how to get your best night’s sleep ever!
3. Eat for your brain! Including a variety of whole grains, healthy fats, legumes, berries, leafy greens, and fish in your menu can help boost cognitive function. Try to limit the amount of salt, highly processed foods, and fatty foods that are in the typical American diet. This way of eating is not only healthy but will support brain health by protecting your heart and blood vessels.
4. Stay cognitively fit. Just like the muscles in your body, if you don’t use it, you lose it! Stay mentally active by incorporating different activities that stimulate your brain. Such activities include crossword puzzles, reading, puzzles, sudoku, taking a class, or our latest favorite Wordle! Try to limit how much TV you watch as that is actually passive activity and doesn’t do much to stimulate your brain!
5. Stay socially active. Now that we can finally be back with our social circles, it’s imperative that we flex those social muscles to stay cognitively fit! Studies show that those with a rich social network experience slower rates of memory decline. There are many ways to be socially active: volunteer, stay connected to your friends and family, adopt a pet, join a club, or start a walking group. Being social not only reduces your risk of mental decline, but it also reduces your risk of depression and enhances intellectual stimulation. So, get out there!
Author: Melissa Dupuis