28 July,2022 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
Unless you are in a Christopher Nolan movie, time functions pretty much in a linear fashion for all of us. As time progresses our bodies change and our minds change too. The way we lose muscle and bone strength as we grow older, in the same way, we lose our cognitive function as well. The decline is quite gradual in nature, but it is noticeable nonetheless.
So, we are essentially in a battle against time. Are there ways to improve brain function or maintain it as our brains age? How to keep your brain healthy?
These are questions that all of us face each day. The simple answer is yes. We have ways to combat brain aging and ways to improve cognitive function.
Physical activity does not always mean gymming or intensive workouts. Sometimes it could just be a short jog or walk in the park near the house, especially as a person grows older. Being physically active is part of a healthy and balanced life, moreover, research has shown that regular exercise is associated with favorable cognitive outcomes in individuals of all ages. Further, in people over 60, physical fitness improves memory and cognitive functions.
Taking care of emotional health and well-being is an important part of a person’s daily life. Being emotionally healthy helps people bounce back better from any situations life may throw their way. This is not to say that a person must be happy always, but being aware of the emotions one is feeling and expressing these emotions ( feeling these emotions fully) could go a long way in helping a person in emotional regulation.
Man is a social animal. This is a line we have heard many times. But the importance of this line compounds as a person ages. Close relationships with family and friends are crucial to a person’s psychological and emotional well-being. In fact, research has highlighted that aging individuals who share close relationships with friends and family are able to cope better with any kind of health issues and also tend to live longer.
Growing old does necessarily mean that the brain has to be affected. There are a lot of things one can do to ensure that your brain remains sharp and alert. These include mental exercises, conversations, reading books and magazines, playing simple board games, cultivating a new hobby, etc. These activities keep the brain alert and are some ways to increase brain function as a person ages.
Eat more whole plant foods and cut down on the meat. Reduction in meat consumption and dairy, while increasing consumption of plant-based food is associated with both healthy aging and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
These are also categorized as foods that improve memory and ensure better brain health. One could add a whole variety of plants from leafy greens, tubers, sprouts, and more to make a fulfilling, tasty, and diverse meal!
The levels of Omega-3 fatty acid DHA in the brain are a crucial component in the battle against neurodegenerative disorders that usually strike people as they age. Higher intake and levels of this component have shown to be effective in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease significantly.
Further, Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient whose risk of deficiency is higher in the elderly, with over 20 percent of individuals aged above 60 suffering from it. Lack of Vitamin B-12 is associated with confusion, depression, and poor memory. It also increases the risk of Alzheimer’s as well. There are multiple supplements that can help a person maintain the levels of these important nutrients.
Associated with emotional well-being and good mental health, having a positive attitude towards aging is associated with healthy aging. Research has shown that this leads to a longer life, with one study showing that people with a positive attitude towards aging lived over seven years longer than others.
Together with regular health check-ups and monitoring, these diverse methods should help a person age healthily. Contrary to popular belief, a person’s life need not end once they retire or grow old. With social support, an active lifestyle, and the aforementioned methods, a person can lead a happy and fulfilling life.
To be cautious, it is also important to know about certain disorders that can afflict a person’s brain as they grow older. These include issues like mild cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer's, and more. This is where regular monitoring of a person’s health and identifying early signs becomes important. If you or your loved one need assistance with healthy aging or any age-related issues, you can always reach out to us on our helpline number 097414 76476.