As we get older, the realization that our brains are getting older too can really start to kick in. We might begin to wonder what we can do, if anything, to keep our brains happy and healthy. Can keeping our brains strong and healthy help slow the aging process? Research does show that there are several things you can do to slow down the cognitive aging process. Check out these 5!
- Stay Active
With aerobic exercise comes an increase in oxygen intake. Providing your brain with the oxygen it needs can help slow down the aging process of your brain. Consider spending about 30 minutes a day – if not more – being engaging in a physical activity.
Also stay up-to-date with your blood pressure. High blood pressure can have negative effects on the brain, so make sure you’re keeping it in check.
- Stick with Healthy Eating
Incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Consuming less meat and increasing your intake of nuts, beans and fish can help protect against cognitive aging. A low solid fat diet is the way to go.
- Get Enough Sleep
It’s certainly important to get the right amount of sleep, but it’s also important that the sleep you do get is of good quality. Taking warm baths at night can help wind your body down physically. You might also try using lavender on your pillow or lighting a lavender candle (and making sure it’s out) before hitting the hay. Try not to look at your phone or television too close to bed – it’s important not to engage your mind so actively before trying to fall asleep.
- Keep Yourself Engaged
Challenge your brain. Whether it’s discovering a new hobby that requires a different thought process than what you’re used to, or working on a puzzle, keeping your brain engaged can actually increase it’s functioning life. Spend a little more time reading or writing to keep your brain lively.
- Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption
Some medications or drugs can definitely have a negative impact on the functionality of the brain – especially if overused. Alcohol can actually go hand-in-hand with other drugs in this situation. High consumption of alcohol can lead to a quickening in cognitive decline. If you do choose to drink, it’s important to do so in moderation. While the results in the brain from heavy drug and alcohol consumption might not be present immediately, it’s still something that could be seen years down the line.
A positive outlook and a healthy lifestyle are great ways to increase the longevity of cognitive function.