Research indicates that brain function tends to decline with age, but it also shows that measures can be taken to reduce this decline. Here are some simple lifestyle changes that can help preserve your mind as you age.
Your brain is a high-power organ, and the fuel you feed it makes a big difference in how it functions over time. A diet rich in leafy vegetables and fatty fish will help enrich your mind with the nutrients it needs.
Next time you’re grocery shopping, look out for vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach. Sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon are also great sources of the Omega-3 fatty acids your brain needs to be in its best shape.
A proper sleep schedule is essential for healthy cognitive function and emotional regulation. Poor sleep can also worsen the effects of mental health conditions. If you need advice on sticking to a healthy sleep schedule in, check out this other Health Hub article.
Moving your body is a great way to regulate mood, improve concentration, and increase new brain cell growth. Intense workouts that leave you drenched in sweat aren’t required to reap these benefits. Simply going on a brisk walk as part of your daily routine can make a big difference.
Read more books
Reading is a powerful exercise for your mind. It stretches the “muscles” of your imagination, memory, and concentration. Any genre that you enjoy can be beneficial, so long as you make reading a regular part of your life.
Get more social
Brains react well to new information, perspectives, and ideas—all things that a simple conversation with a new friend can provide. Expand your social life, and your mind will expand along with it!
Drink less and don’t smoke
Drinking, smoking, and drug use can have negative impacts on cognitive function—especially when use happens over long periods of time. Reducing substance consumption can greatly benefit your brain.
Switch up old routines
Forming new habits, behaviors, and routines forces your brain to be active and adapt. If you’ve been repeating the same schedule every day for decades, look for ways you can mix it up.
Take on new challenges
The human mind was designed to process and overcome obstacles. Embracing difficult activities like learning a new language or musical instrument help stimulate your brain.
Set goals and achieve them
Goals give your brain a reason to work harder, developing greater mental strength and cognitive function. Achieving goals on a regular basis also releases healthy neurochemicals that help regulate your mood and promote a more positive mindset as you age.
A healthy brain requires healthy habits in everything from your diet to your social life to your daily behaviors. If you feel as though you could benefit from some help in these areas, check out the services offered by Valley Oaks Health’s qualified mental health experts.