While aging is a natural part of life, this doesn’t mean that we should simply accept cognitive decline. It is possible for seniors to stay mentally sharp even with advancing age and continue to enjoy life year after year. There are plenty of ways to do this including the following:
Physical activities stimulate the brain as well. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions. This doesn’t have to be extremely demanding on the body. Even walking will do for starters. The duration and intensity can pick up as strength and endurance begin to increase. A leisurely walk can turn into a brisk walk or even a jog. Those with joint issues may opt for low impact exercises like cycling or swimming. Incorporate some resistance training as well. This could be simple bodyweight routines like push-ups and squats. The guidance of a doctor or physical therapist is advised.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Stroke is among the possible causes of dementia. Reduce the risk of having one by managing cholesterol and blood pressure. Eat a healthy diet that is filled with nutritious food in controlled portions. This means eating more vegetables and fruits with every meal whenever possible. Avoid processed food, especially those that are high in sugar. It isn’t bad to indulge once in a while but don’t make it a regular habit. Drink adequate amounts of water as well. Have a glass nearby at all times to encourage this. Avoid drinks with artificial flavors and go for natural juices instead.
Learn New Skills
Keep the mind busy at all times. Feed it with new information and never stop learning. Individuals with high educational attainments are significantly less prone to dementia. Those who are engaged in mentally challenging professions are also better protected against the development of this condition. Yet even those who are already retired can find ways to learn. For example, try to acquire a different language. Practice speaking and writing using this on a daily basis. There are lots of books and audio recordings that can help. The musically-inclined might want to take up a new instrument and rehearse new pieces.
Excessive smoking and drinking have been linked to the onset of dementia. It is advisable for people to stop these vices not only to keep themselves sharp but also to reduce the risk of other ailments like lung cancer, liver failure, and so forth. It can be difficult if a person has been dependent on these substances for a long while but the effort will be worth it. Some are able to quit cold turkey because of a strong desire to lead a different kind of life. Most, however, will require a more gradual progression. Ask a doctor for help.
Make it a habit to tackle challenges both big and small. For example, some people still get the newspaper delivered to their doorstep every day so that they can work on the crossword puzzle. There are also specialized activity books that have hundreds of such puzzles for enthusiasts to work on whenever they please. Playing card games whether alone or with friends can also be beneficial. These games require strategic planning and rapid decision-making skills to succeed. They can certainly flex the game and in an enjoyable manner as well.
The secret to staying mentally sharp is for seniors to continue to stay curious about the world. Learn new things for personal improvement while keeping a positive attitude and taking good care of the body. As long as we are alive, we should live it to the fullest.