Taking care of your mind as you age
While none of us really like to think about it, it’s generally accepted that our minds will deteriorate a bit as we age. That doesn’t have to be the case though. While genetics and pre-disposition may have a role to play, there are things that we can do to keep our minds strong and active.
Here is a handful of tips to help you to care better for your own mind or that of a loved one. It just makes it a bit easier to enjoy those leafy greens and will even give you an excellent excuse to enjoy the company of your friends and family even more,.
First: Think food
While it’s not like we need any more excuses for eating salmon, the succulent fish is both delicious and wonderful for your brain. The grey matter is made out of mostly fats, after all, as well as Omega 3, so fill your plate with fish at least three times a week.
Think of other foods that are known for being rather fatty as well, such as avocados and olive oil. The former has a lot of Vitamin K in them too as well as folate, which keeps the blood from clotting – in addition to improving cognitive functions. It’s the kind of stuff we need when we get a bit older and try to remember where all the time went.
The colourful vegetable may reduce inflammation in the body, which is key to fight off many health problems. The natural nitrates in the beets will actually boost blood flow to the brain as well, helping to improve brain functions and general mental capacity.
It’s a good idea to mention these foods to your parent’s nurse as they’ll be able to incorporate more of these brain boosters in their diets. It’s not always easy for us to understand the kind of foods we should eat more of, so take matters into your own hands and talk to the nurse about it.
They may even be able to point out more things you can do for your relative’s brain functions, such as playing a bit of chess with them or even reading.
The little berries are the ones that pop up on most memory-related articles, and they have a great reputation among dietitians due to their numerous health benefits. Packed to the brim with antioxidants, blueberries contain Vitamin C and K, as well as gallic acid – an acid that may protect our brains from degeneration and stress.
Sprinkle it over your yoghurt in the morning, have a handful as a snack, and try to eat more of it during the day, in general.
It’s important to note the ‘may’ as we can’t say for sure that these foods will improve your or your relative’s mental capacities. There’s a lot of good evidence for it, though, and researchers are continuing to find more proof that the ones above are great for your brain as well as your body.
Unfortunately, we can’t always take matters into our own hands and eat our way to good health – it is, sometimes, out of our control. Eat a balanced diet, on the other hand, and find ways to eat more of the above; even if they can’t say for sure quite yet, it still tastes delicious.
Next: Get some exercise done
You probably saw this one coming; a healthy amount of exercise is really good for your brain. While you should try to get any form of exercise done a couple of times a week, there are a few forms of exercise you might want to focus on to make sure your brain is getting a proper workout.
Think about the stuff you need to put your mind into to master. Dancing, for example, high-intensity aerobics, tennis, yoga, and all forms of exercise where you need to balance more. This is great for your bone strength as well, so you might be able to enjoy both a healthy mind and a strong and able body when you’re a bit older.
There should be many opportunities to sign up for dance, yoga or aerobics classes in your area if you’re looking for something for a family member or a friend. Have a search online, and you might be able to expand their social network as well.
Exercising together is easily one of the best ways to enjoy what you’re doing and boost those endorphins a bit more. Sign up for classes, get to know more people, and enjoy the sense of using your body in the best possible way.
Socialise and have fun
While exercising can be a bit of a chore, socialising and having fun with your loved ones certainly isn’t.
It is so important to keep this in mind if you have an elderly family member that you’re looking after. Our health, according to some doctors, is in our mind, and it’s arguably better to share a meal of burgers and fries with your family while laughing and talking, than eating a bowl of vegetables on your own.
If possible, it’s often better to let your loved one continue living at home or even in your home if you have the capacity and the space for it. Read up on the benefits of home care, first of all, and keep in mind that it might be a much better solution for their mental health.
Challenge your mind
Finally, it makes a lot of sense that brain-training games will be healthy for your mind, in the long run. Sure, doing all of those crosswords and sudokus will definitely be good for your brain too, but you can really choose anything where your brain gets a bit of exercise. A puzzle, for example, or a trivia game with your loved ones will definitely help out too.
You could even choose to use your mind to the fullest and take a degree such as a masters of business administration. That way, you get to use it for what it’s worth and enjoy studying something that actually interests you a bit too.
While getting older can be tough, it helps a lot when you know that there is so much you can do to stay healthy and keep your mind strong for as long as possible. It’s all about routine and getting into a good habit. start your day with a healthy meal, follow up with some good exercise, and enjoy the company of others – it’s all good for you.
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