Do you have a weekly exercise routine to keep your body in its best physical shape? Do you love to feel your heart pumping and your muscles strengthening? You probably feel great afterwards, and look forward to it each week.
As people age, maintaining good physical and cognitive health becomes a challenge for reasons such as immobility and chronic illness, but staying physically and mentally fit is critical to overall health. Keeping your mind active with natural stimulation will help form new cell connections in the brain, encouraging new cell generation and a high-functioning brain, thus, helping enhance your body and mind as whole.
We talked to professional Personal Support Workers (PSWs) who specialize in senior home care in Mississauga to learn how to keep the brain active, even as we age. Here’s what they shared with us.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
The brain facilitates everything from pumping blood throughout your body to moving your limbs. What you eat can directly affect the brain’s ability to do such things since it requires nourishment from healthy vitamins and other food sources. Did you know that specific foods and vitamins can help optimize and enrich your brain health?
Omega-3s can do this precisely because of the anti-inflammatory properties found in their fatty acids. Omega-3s have also been known to reduce the risk of age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Omega-3s are in many types of natural foods, including:
- Nuts (such as walnuts or almonds)
- Oily Fish (for example, tuna, salmon, and mackerel)
- Flax Seed
- Omega-enriched Eggs (look for the omega label on the carton)
Also look for brain-nourishing foods like turmeric spice and berries. Both have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients, and antioxidant-rich berries can repair and reduce cell damage.
Stay Physically Active
Getting regular physical exercise is imperative to maintaining good cognitive health. Exercise increases your brain’s oxygen levels, and this can reduce the risk of developing illnesses that cause memory loss and mental decline. Engaging in physical activity also naturally releases hormones, called endorphins, which alleviate feelings of depression and stress.
Doctors and health providers recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to maintain overall health. PSWs suggest taking short walks around the block, and if that’s not possible (due to mobility issues), aim to walk around the house every couple of hours. Even just stretching your arms and legs a few times a day is better than staying dormant.
Engage Your Mind Regularly
Engaging your mind, whether it’s learning a new skill or doing a crossword puzzle each morning, is beneficial to your cognitive health. Treat your brain like other muscles in your body and challenge it. Stay socially engaged with friends and family members, and if you live alone, consider seeking companionship and support from a PSW from a home healthcare service provider.
Without challenging your mind, you risk losing your mental sharpness and the chances of developing illnesses such as depression and dementia increase.
To keep your brain power, remember to eat well, stay physically fit, and mentally and socially engaged. You’ll encourage a healthy mind and a healthy lifestyle.