Cognitive abilities usually peak around age 30, meaning that it is common to experience subtle changes or decline in the following years. This could include an overall slowness in the way that our minds process information, decreased attention span, difficulty multitasking, and starting to forget minor things.
When older adults begin to notice changes in their thinking or memory, it may stir an immediate concern. Before you assume the worst, keep in mind that these changes are natural with age and many factors can impact the way that your brain operates. This is why it’s important to promote brain health and sustain your cognitive function for as long as possible through healthy habits, socialization, and participating in plenty of fulfilling activities.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, our luxury senior living communities throughout Texas are dedicated to providing meaningful activities and experiences that promote active living and healthy aging. So how can you promote brain health? Our team is sharing four ways to keep your brain active and healthy for as long as possible.
1. Exercise Regularly
A study found that “individuals with low daily physical activity levels were 53% more likely to [experience Alzheimer’s disease] than those who reported more active lives.”
Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, promoting the overall health of new brain cells and the chemicals that affect the growth of new blood vessels found there. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in volume in people who exercise than in people who don’t.”
The recommended amount of exercise for adults over the age of 65 is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week – this can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. Of course, you should speak to your doctor before making any changes to your exercise routine.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” many times before, but this is especially in order to promote brain health. Your diet makes a huge impact on your cognitive abilities, and it’s important to increase your intake of foods that contain:
- Vitamin E
- B Vitamins
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Studies show that these three nutrients are strongly linked to improved cognitive function. Be sure to incorporate plenty of leafy green vegetables, berries, and seafood so your brain can soak up the benefits of each of these nutrients. One way to do this is by trying the Mediterranean Diet, which features plenty of veggies, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish to boost your brain health.
3. Give Your Brain a Workout
Just as physical exercise helps to promote brain health, giving your mind a workout is equally important. To do this, you can complete brain teasers, puzzles, or memory games to train and test your thinking skills, memory, and problem-solving abilities. For example, if you enjoy completing the crossword puzzle in your local paper each morning, this is a great way to give your brain a workout.
Download our free Brain Health Activities Guide for more ideas!
4. Spend Time with Friends and Family
A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) found that more than a third of adults over the age of 65 are considered socially isolated. Older adults are at a greater risk of feelings of loneliness and isolation due to factors that their age group is more likely to face, including:
- Living Alone
- The Loss of Family or Friends
- Chronic Illness
- Vision and Hearing Loss
Social isolation has also been associated with about a 50% increased risk of developing dementia, which is why it’s important to ensure that you’re spending time with loved ones and friends to promote brain health.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, our communities focus on creating an environment in which residents can make their wellness a priority by staying active and healthy. We put a special emphasis on promoting all aspects of wellness, including brain health, thanks to our rotating calendar of events and activities that foster meaningful engagement.
Learn more about what we have to offer and discover luxury senior living in Texas by visiting our website or contacting a member of our team.