5. Stay Social
Staying socially connected may help reduce risk of dementia, though researches don’t quite know why. It could be because social stimulation strengthens connections between the brain’s nerve cells.
Isolation and depression increase risk for cognitive decline, but staying connected helps fight depression. Do your best to stay keep in touch with friends and even form new connections when possible. Relationships help your brain by boosting your mood and helping you think outside yourself. Bonus points if your friends double as exercise partners!
6. Exercise Your Brain
The “use it or lose it” principle applies when it comes to your mental edge. Help keep your brain sharp and engaged by giving yourself challenges that make you think. Try doing a puzzle, creating a piece of art, and playing strategic games like bridge or chess. You can also build social connections and stay sharp by taking a class at a community center or community college.
Just like your body, your brain needs to keep working to stay strong!
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7. Care For Your Heart
The same things you do to care for your heart can positively impact your cognitive health. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, losing weight if needed, reducing stress, and quitting smoking can help keep your heart and your head healthy. Oh, and that heart-healthy diet will also help!
Remember, there is no one strategy that guarantee’s a person won’t experience cognitive decline or some form of dementia. Research has shown correlations with the above practices and improved brain health, but it’s difficult to absolutely prove cause and effect. Absolute proof would require a blind study where one group was assigned social interaction, for example, and another was assigned to social isolation. There are ethical concerns with such a study.
The above strategies are currently our best tools against dementia and cognitive decline, and they also fight against other diseases and health risks. So take good care of yourself, because you’re definitely worth it!Whizzco