Everyone has experienced this at some point in their lives. Maybe you went into the kitchen for no apparent reason, or you couldn’t recall a familiar name during a chat. Memory lapses can happen at any age, although ageing is not the only cause of cognitive deterioration. When considerable memory loss (dementia) happens in older persons, it is usually related to disorders, any injury to the brain, or neurological illness rather than ageing.
Mental activity is thought to trigger systems that help preserve individual brain cells and encourage communication among them. There is an ancient saying “use it or lose it” applies not only to our physical health but also to our cognitive health. We all know that regular physical activity is essential, especially as we age and wish to lower our chance of developing diseases and other conditions linked with ageing. Strength exercises, for example, can help build muscle and increase bone density, according to the Mayo Clinic; balance exercises, according to MedlinePlus; and regular moderate-to-vigorous exercise, according to the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), can help maintain your range of motion .
Similarly, your brain’s cognitive reserve — its capacity to endure neurological damage caused by ageing and other circumstances without slowing or memory loss — can benefit from both physical and cognitive training.
Some basic good health habits have been suggested in studies to help prevent cognitive decline and lower the risk of dementia.
- staying physically active
- getting enough sleep
- not smoking
- having good social connections
- Maintaining healthy lifestyle
There are various ways through which we can maintain our cognitive fitness :
Keeping yourself engaged and believe in yourself:
You have a higher chance of keeping your mind fresh if you feel you can progress and put that idea into action. Regular physical activity results in increased blood flow to the brain.
It is important to exercise 3-4 days a week which includes mild to moderate walk, swimming etc.
Get enough sleep:
Sleep is essential for your brain’s health. According to some beliefs, sleep helps eliminate abnormal proteins in your brain and consolidates memories, improving your general memory and brain health. Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, rather than in increments.
Consider following Healthy Dietary Habits :
Diet plays a major role in brain health, try emphasizing on plant-based foods, whole grains, healthy fats such as olive oil.
We know that omega fatty acids, which are found in extra-virgin olive oil and other healthy fats, are essential for cell function, appear to reduce your risk of coronary artery disease, boost mental concentration, and stop cognitive decline in older persons.
A well-balanced diet low in fat, cholesterol, and antioxidants is an right approach to brain health. Nuts, fruits (particularly berries), vegetables, chocolate, and herbs and spices are all high in antioxidants.
Maintain good social connections:
Memory loss is caused by despair and stress; social engagement helps to alleviate stress and depression. It helps in strengthening brain function.
When people pay less attention to their surroundings, they become more prone to dementia. “The brain has a tendency to atrophy when it is passive”. Sedentary and generally passive hobbies, such as sitting in front of a television for hours, might thus be harmful to brain function over time.
Elders mental skills can be sharpen by doing various activities at home:
Assessing your recall capacity :
Make a list of the stuff you’ll need at home and try to memorise them. Try to recollect how many items you remember after an hour. This practise assists seniors in drafting and memorising lists, as well as improving their attention and recall skills.
Make an attempt at cooking:
Learn to prepare a new meal since cooking requires us to engage all of our senses, and these senses, such as smell, touch, sight, and taste, involve different sections of the brain and assist with multi-tasking, problem-solving, organising, and so on.
Drawing, painting, and other soothing and gratifying activities assist to reduce stress, keep focused, remove distractions, and give the brain a vacation from its typical thinking. All problems are pushed away by these activities.
Engaging in art allows you to pay attention to details and make you more aware of your surroundings.
It functions similarly to meditation in this sense.
In conclusion, memory lapses can occur at any age, not just in older individuals. Cognitive deterioration is often related to disorders, brain injuries, or neurological illnesses rather than simply aging. To maintain cognitive fitness and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, it is important to adopt healthy habits. This includes staying physically active, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and cultivating good social connections. Engaging in activities that challenge the mind, such as memorization exercises, cooking, and art activities, can help sharpen mental skills and improve overall brain health. By incorporating these practices into our daily lives, we can enhance our cognitive reserve and promote long-term brain health.
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