Aging never grows old – it is inevitable – but there are times we feel older than we should, or we let ourselves age prematurely by not doing things to keep our minds sharp and active. There are many things that we can do to keep our mind young, even on the days when we feel old.
Find any activity that you enjoy. This could be pickleball, yoga, arts or dancing. There are many places to find friends to be active with together. Being active will reduce stress on your body, lower blood pressure and maintain blood flow. All of these are known to play a factor in dementia. If you can't get out of the home, there are ways to be active in the home, such as Zoom classes, using household items as part of a regular exercise regime or even just changing some habits such as using your staircase to build up cardio fitness.
Being social is the best way to keep your mind sharp. During the pandemic there were a lot of concerns about the mental health of seniors. Many were not socializing, and this affected their minds. Socializing can happen in a few forms, including a phone call, drop by for tea or if your able attend a seniors activity centre and join a program.
Socializing helps in a couple of ways:
- Keeping conversations will help the mind be active. During a conversation the brain will be active in retrieving information and memories. This could be from the names of your loved ones and the memories created over the years.
- Talking with friends will also stimulate the brain to be able to follow the conversation, as well as talking about current topics.
This does not mean going vegetarian or vegan, it just means finding healthier options. Smoothies are a great option in the morning, full of healthy ingredients and easy to make. For those who can't cook or do not want to, look for healthier options other than SkipTheDishes. HelloFresh is a healthy alternative, and some organizations, like Meals on Wheels, will deliver healthy food.
Do Brain Activities
There are many simple things you can do daily to keep the brain active. Reading is one of the best things you can do. When reading becomes difficult, then audio books and podcasts are a great option. Learn something new – this could be a course from Duolingo or finding a local library or seniors activity centre that hosts courses or group meetups. Puzzles are another way to keep your mind active. This includes the table puzzles but also strategy puzzles like Rubik’s Cube. For the tech savvy there are video games such as Professor Layton that will help keep you feeling young.
Every aspect of your day presents an opportunity to keep your mind sharp. Be active and try to learn something new every day.