Staying sharp mentally as you age

Staying sharp mentally as you age

As we age, the body slowly breaks down, altering and reducing our physical abilities. Unfortunately, the mind also deteriorates over time. Our memories begin to fade; we don’t process information as quickly as we once did; perhaps we get confused fairly easily…we’re just not quite as sharp as we used to be.

This isn’t referring to mind-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, but rather the typical effects of aging.

While there is no secret trick to turning back the hands of time, there are simple things we can do to help keep our minds sharp as we age. Regardless of your age or situation, there are ways to help preserve or, perhaps, even improve your brain function; including stress-free games and exercises that can actually be fun.

Here are three tips to consider:

1. Games and puzzles

Crossword puzzles are an excellent way to challenge your mind, as are activities such as word searches and scrambles, and number games like Sudoku. Jigsaw puzzles are great, too. These are still available in print, but also online.

If you’re somewhat tech-savvy, or have people close to you who are and are able to help, there are also apps and websites with games and puzzles that help keep your mind sharp.

Videogames aren’t just for kids anymore either. Believe it or not, playing videogames is a wonderful way to help keep your mind sharp – even for seniors!

2. “Dear diary”

Keeping a diary or journal is also helpful. This not only keeps you in the habit of writing and thinking back through the day – which are great mind exercises – but by recording your daily activities, it enables you to capture your memories and revisit them as often as you wish. This keeps both your mind and memory sharp.

3. Take care of your body

It’s no secret that eating right and not smoking are beneficial to your physical well-being, but keeping these good habits also has a positive impact on your mental health.

Foods that are rich in certain vitamins and antioxidants (fish, nuts, fruits and veggies to name a few) can all assist in keeping your mind sharp. Foods that are high in fat, sodium and preservatives – “junk food” – actually restrict the flow of oxygen to the brain and have a negative impact on the mind. Smoking has the same effect.

Consult your physician, as they should be able to give you a list of foods that can help in this area. They should also have the ability to discuss potential vitamins and supplements that may keep your mind sharp.

Exercise, no matter how minimal, is also a good way to stay sharp. If you’re physically able, even brief walks can help stimulate the mind.

Senior Living

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