Baby boomers edging into retirement are becoming more and more interested in boosting their brain power. Many older adults believe — and correctly so — that in order to avoid age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, the brain must be used in different ways to keep it sharp.
There is no shortage of studies that have found eating right and exercising the brain can prevent memory decline and keep one’s brain function tip-top for a longer period of time. Also of no shortage is expert opinion saying that dementia is expected to rise dramatically in the coming decades. Over the next 40 years or so, the rate of Alzheimer’s will quadruple. Some quick math plays that out to an increasing rate of 100% every 10 years.
Yet we can take dementia prevention into our own hands. We can stop our memory from slipping. We can successfully make our brain younger than it is, keeping strong cognitive function a decade or more longer than it would have. And here are some excellent tips on doing so:
1. Cut down on calories by choosing foods more wisely.
2. Eat more foods high in omega-3s: fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines; as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
3. Pump up your intake of fruits and veggies, especially those high in vitamins C and E.
4. Get a good sleep each night.
5. Get involved with a hobby or two.
6. Read every day. Try writing as well.
7. Switch up a regular activity so your brain has to work harder; e.g. read one page of the paper upside down, use your opposite hand to brush your teeth, etc.
8. Practice ways to relax your mind and body, such as yoga and meditation.
9. Closely follow TV shows and movies with complicated plots.
10. Play challenging games, such as chess and crossword puzzles.
11. Avoid isolation by joining groups and social organizations.
12. Cut down on red meat and all processed foods.
13. Exercise daily: walk, ride a bike, join a dance class, jog, swim, etc.
14. Learn something new: a musical instrument, a second language, etc .
15. Go traveling.