We often focus a lot of attention on improving the physical aspects of health and ageing such as bone strength, sugar intake and body weight management. One of our most important attributes – mental function – is also in need of attention to remain healthy as we age. Here are a few tips (in addition to exercise) that can help:
Studies continue to show that people who have the highest social activity levels and networks have 70% less cognitive decline. Let’s face it, that’s a great reason to do more of what we already enjoy anyway!
Get your groove on and dance
Dancing has a multitude of benefits for the brain. First and foremost, it is a great form of exercise which we already know helps with cognitive function. Not only this, but learning different ways to get your body moving really challenges the brain in a positive way. Secondly, it usually occurs in a social environment and hence ticks two boxes in one. Finally it usually involves physical touch which stimulates the brain.
Gratitude is a much more common topic now than it was 20 years ago. However, gratitude goes beyond simply being grateful for something. To get the benefit, you really need to explore WHY you are grateful for something. In fact, the greatest impact comes from writing a 300+ word letter to someone who has influenced your life significantly that you are grateful towards, AND reading it to them in person. Be warned though, this often requires a big box of tissues
Spend time connecting with others who aren’t your age
Cross generational friendships significantly boost cognitive function. It can be a grandchild, a neighbour, and of course the friendly staff at Active Seniors!
Remember that age is purely a number
Evidence continues to show that the people who “feel old” have more health ailments and a lower life expectancy. What the mind conceives, the body believes.
We would love to hear your comments on how you look after your cognitive heath!