Although brains do change with age, cognitive impairment isn’t inevitable. In this article from Harvard Health, they share 12 ways you can help maintain brain function. A young brain can be yours with staying active, eating right and of course, creating and keeping those social connections which can help prevent senior isolation!
Our favorite of the tips below is number 12, build your social networks. Building social networks for the elderly is critical for keeping elder health. And don’t wait for others to reach out to you. Be the change you want to see. Pick up the phone. Take a walk and stop by someone’s house for a cup of tea. Here’s the article:
Every brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Mental decline is common, and it’s one of the most feared consequences of aging. But cognitive impairment is not inevitable. Here are 12 ways you can help maintain brain function.
1. Get mental stimulation
Through research with mice and humans, scientists have found that brainy activities stimulate new connections between nerve cells and may even help the brain generate new cells, developing neurological “plasticity” and building up a functional reserve that provides a hedge against future cell loss.
Any mentally stimulating activity should help to build up your brain. Read, take courses, try “mental gymnastics,” such as word puzzles or math problems Experiment with things that require manual dexterity as well as mental effort, such as drawing, painting, and other crafts.
2. Get physical exercise
Research shows that using your muscles also helps your mind. Animals who exercise regularly increase the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought. Exercise also spurs the development of new nerve cells and increases the connections between brain cells (synapses). This results in brains that are more efficient, plastic, and adaptive, which translates into better performance in aging animals. Exercise also lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, helps blood sugar balance and reduces mental stress, all of which can help your brain as well as your heart…
12. Build social networks
Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy.
Get the information you need to strengthen your intellectual prowess, promote your powers of recall, and protect the brain-based skills when you buy A Guide to Cognitive Fitness, a special health report by the experts at Harvard.
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Brett Harnett is the founder of HiLois. He joined the faculty at the University of Cincinnati in 2004 and serves as the Director for the UC Center for Health Informatics. His academic appointment is in Biomedical Informatics. He is a member of the UC Institutional Review Board focused on use of technology protecting research subjects. Prior to joining UC, Brett was the Director of Experimental Information Technology for a NASA-sponsored research program in Virginia and a Systems Analyst at Yale University in Connecticut. He covers clinical informatics, healthy aging, technology, research and all things data for the HiLois blog.