Monday, January 17, 2011

Goodbye Senior Moments!!


If you're anything like me, you're probably asking yourself things like, "Where did I put my keys?" or "I don't remember you giving me (this or that)!" It can be scary to think as we age...we go through cognitive changes. By age 40-45 we may experience memory loss, a delay in processing information, and being distracted more than usual (yep, that's me!).

Fortunately, there are ways to maintain mental health and fitness as we age. Whew!! Am I thankful! This advice will definitely be useful for me! On a positive note, as we take care of our bodies by eating the right foods and exercising, our brains will benefit as well and help to prevent that slippery slope of cognitive decline.

Okay...here are some excellent ideas we can embrace to sharpen our minds:
  1. Stay connected and make and sustain healthy relationships ~ Living alone may be dangerous to your brain health.  A study released in the medical journal BMJ suggests that living alone significantly increases the odds in developing dementia later in life. This study adds to a growing evidence that suggests social factors play a major role in brain health. Engaging in and planning social gatherings and sustaining strong relationships through phone calls, dates out, and emails do wonders for our brains...so, include time with those you feel especially close to...your brain depends on it!
  2. Meditate ~ Meditation can help cognitive damage caused by stress. Check out this short relaxation exercise. Regular meditation will help us to be less scattered and to think more clearly.
  3. Exercise ~ Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain and encourages brain cell growth. Regular exercise also reduces stress and helps to keep our bodies at a healthy balance.
  4. Read ~ A UCLA study suggests that reading increases the activity in the language part of the brain. In subjects 70 years of age and older who regularly read books, it was found that there was a significant decrease in the risk of cognitive decline when compared to individuals who did not read.
  5. Eat whole foods and less sugary foods
  6. Eat a Mediterranean diet ~ This includes a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, olive oil, raw dairy products and grass-fed, organic meat. Studies conducted by Piero Antuono from the Dementia Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin suggest this diet may help reduce inflammation in the brain and support blood vessel health.
Now is the time for me to step up to the plate and replace the "dumb" things I'm doing with "smart" choices to enhance my brain power...join me in saying, "Goodbye senior moments!!"

Be healthy, be social, and be positive!

Marisa

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