This is a guest post by Kate Reynolds.
As we get older, the deterioration of the mind and body is unavoidable. It’s just part of the aging process. Some people, however, experience more severe symptoms of aging than others do. No matter how healthy your body is, your mind can still begin to have those “senior moments.”
If you want to keep your mind healthy as you age, you have to keep it active. Exercise for your mind is as necessary as it is for your body. Here are some ways you can stay mentally sharp.
1. Move Your Body
Speaking of exercise, physical exercise is good for both your body and your mind. In order to stay sharp, you should try to keep moving. You don’t have to do strenuous exercises or weight training. You just have to move. Seniors tend to remain sedentary much more than other age groups. Make it a point to get up and go for a walk. Try to increase your daily movements, and break up any long periods of sitting with some walking, stretching, jogging, or similar activity.
2. Eat Well
Proper nutrition is incredibly important for seniors, also for both physical and mental health. If you’re not eating enough of the proper vitamins and minerals, the lack of nutrients can affect brain functioning. If you’re not eating enough calories, you will have less energy with which to use your body and brain. Make sure you eat well – healthfully and regularly.
3. Keep Learning
You’re never too old to learn. Learning new things will help keep your mind active and sharp. Read books or play new board games – even just watching educational television shows and actively listening to the information will help. Take a new class. Visit a museum. Engage in conversation with many different people – you’ll be surprised at what people can still teach you about life, themselves, and yourself, too.
4. Challenge Your Brain
Challenging your brain is extremely important to keeping a sharp mind. Instead of just learning, you should also be challenging yourself to exercise your knowledge and problem-solving skills. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and other word and number games are excellent ways to challenge your brain. Try answering trivia questions, or playing a game of chess with a friend.
5. Sleep Well
For people at any age, sleep is essential for proper mental functioning. Be sure to get enough sleep at night, and make sure it’s quality sleep, too. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor about possible solutions. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day to get on a regular sleep schedule.
6. Engage Your Senses
Using all of your senses really helps exercise your brain in a variety of different ways, so try to use all your senses as much as possible. Stop to smell the flowers – literally – or try to pick out the ingredients of food by their smell. Create artwork with materials of varying textures. Find new ways to use your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hands to experience the world around you.
Author Bio: Kate Reynolds is a freelance writer caring for aging parents. Kate shares tips for caregivers and how to keep senior minds sharp and ways to enhance the quality of life.
- active minds image courtesy of nutmeg66 via photopin cc
- rubiks cube image courtesy of allie™ via photopin cc
- seniors walking image courtesy of Ed Yourdon via photopin cc
- smell the rose image courtesy of Twistiti via photopin cc