Growing more forgetful and finding it harder to pick up new skills – while these may be part and parcel of ageing, there are many ways seniors can stave off the effects of old age on their minds. Here are five tips to help a person rich in years keep their brain in tip-top condition.
1. Stay Active
Exercise is for anyone and everyone! The benefits of regular physical activity are well-known: it offers protection from health risks, boosts mental health, and develops bone and muscle strength. Regular cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow to the brain, giving it plenty of oxygen and nutrients. Find an exercise you enjoy doing and get your heart pumping!
2. Stay Connected
Meeting up with friends and loved ones can not only boost your mood, but it can also improve cognitive function. Engaging in a conversation involves multiple mental skills, such as attention, listening, language, and even memory. So take some time to make new friends, or simply meet up with your kopi kakis for a chat!
3. Stimulate the Brain
There is no age limit to learning. Studies show that activities such as reading and writing can help with improving our memory. If you are more adventurous, you could invest some time to pick up new skills instead – be it adopting new technologies or learning a new language.
4. Cultivate hobbies
Reignite the spark of old hobbies or cultivate new ones! Just like how reading and writing improves memory and concentration, playing games is another fun way to stimulate the brain as we grow older. We’re talking about games like Rummy O, Scrabble, Chess, Jenga and even Mahjong. Studies have also shown that video games are perfect for cognitive stimulation and help seniors connect with their younger family members as well. So grab a friend for a fun afternoon of board games!
5. Get Sufficient Sleep
Sleep deprivation can lead to trouble with memory, concentration, and other brain functions. While adults age 65 and older should aim for about seven to eight hours of sleep each night, it is also known that seniors tend to experience trouble sleeping as they age. If you’re having trouble getting some shut-eye or know of a loved one suffering from sleep deprivation, here are three quick tips to tuck in soundly at night:
a. Follow a regular sleep schedule
b. Avoid caffeine late in the day
c. Refrain from taking naps in the day
That’s it for our round-up of habits to keep your mind sharp as you age. The brain is the most important muscle, so strengthen your mind and care for it too!