Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp with Age

It’s almost cliche at this point to recommend people do the daily crossword puzzle during retirement to keep their brain sharp and to ward off memory loss.

While it’s certainly important to keep your brain active, taking care of your mind is a lot more complex than doing crossword puzzles.

The brain doesn’t exist in isolation from the body. We need to take care of our minds in a similar way to how we take care of the rest of us, from sleep to exercise to a healthy diet to having a purpose in our days.

Here are some tips from researchers on what we can do to keep our minds sharp as we age, whether we’re 25 or 75!

Get quality rest

Researchers recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for good health. Sleep “cleanses” the brain of toxins that have built up while you were awake and keeps the neural pathways ready to continue their role of communicating with the body throughout the day. Not only is getting enough sleep critical for your brain’s health, it’s also critical to the health of other major organs and tissues throughout the body.

Having trouble sleeping through the night? Talk to your doctor — you may have a sleeping disorder that could use some extra support!

Exercise

If we want our brains to stay active, we need to keep our bodies active. Aerobic activity — the kind where you can feel your heart beating in your chest — reduces inflammation in our brains and creates a healthy place for brain cells and new blood vessels to grow.

Now don’t worry, you don’t have to run a marathon if you don’t want to. Many of the studies that look at the importance of brain health analyze participants who walk briskly, so taking yourself on a walk around the neighborhood is a convenient way to support your brain. But it’s also important to find activities you enjoy to help motivate you and bring fulfillment from your daily practice.

Mentally challenge yourself

Crosswords are fun, but a mental diet of crosswords isn’t going to be the only thing to support your brain’s acuity over time. The good news is that challenging your brain can mean a lot of different things. It can be taking on a new volunteering opportunity that challenges you to think differently or learning a new skill like drawing. It can mean learning to play an instrument (no one said you have to be good!) or taking a class in a subject you’ve never explored before.

Challenging yourself in ways like these isn’t just another thing to add to your to-do list. It’s a way to help lead a fulfilling life, which is important to our whole well-being.

Keep a healthy diet

To keep your brain sharp, experts recommend avoiding drinking or smoking as you get older. But also consider what you’re putting into your body. Researchers recommend a “Mediterranean diet,” or one that is rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish, and olive oil (yum!). So start pulling out those recipe books for a long-term adventure for your brain and stomach!

Questions about health insurance? Contact a Sea Mountain Life & Health Insurance Specialist today!