Everyone has had their fair share of frustrating moments where they suddenly forget their car keys or can’t remember why they opened the fridge. If this happens to you, don’t worry! These are normal memory lapses that can happen at any age or at any point in your life and don’t necessarily warrant memory care services.
Furthermore, aging can affect one’s ability to remember and retain information. However, major memory problems have little to do with aging and more to do with brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases.
So if your bouts of forgetfulness happen quite regularly, then you have to do something about it, right? Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy activities that you can do to maintain your brain power and cognitive prowess!
1.) Keep Learning
Learning is something everybody does throughout their life, from their teenage years to seniorhood. Every waking day is a chance to learn new things, whether it’s in a classroom setting, through online seminars, or new information you gathered from a friend.
Learning new things serves as a challenge and mental exercise to your brain, keeping it active and mentally stimulated.
So keep on seeking knowledge, education, and experiences that can help keep your mind and body active. Here are some learning activities you can try to boost your memory and brain power:
- Enrolling in online classes for older adults or continuing your college degree.
- Attending skill-based seminars to pursue your hobbies, like gardening, cooking, and sewing.
- Seeking a part-time job nearby to keep your brain active.
- Mentoring or teaching other people with a specific skill or knowledge you acquired.
- Joining groups and clubs in your senior community.
- Learning a new life skill, like driving a car, planting herbs, or doing woodwork.
Additionally, these activities also double as social opportunities that can help enhance your communication skills. Plus, healthy social life in your golden years also contributes to the improvement of your cognitive function.
2.) Play Brain-Enhancing Games
Another enjoyable way to keep the brain stimulated while having fun is to try mentally stimulating games. This includes crosswords, puzzles, word searches, and playing cards. These games might seem simple to you, but they can actually do wonders in keeping your brain healthy.
Studies suggest that these activities act as “brain exercise,” which can help hone your mental sharpness. Furthermore, it can boost your cognitive functions, such as learning and memory, making once tricky tasks easier and quicker.
If you’re not a fan of these traditional games, you can also try playing digital ones, like Lumosity and Clevermind.
3.) Do Intellectually Stimulating Hobbies
In essence, all hobbies are good for seniors because they keep them physically, mentally, and socially stimulated. However, if you want to focus solely on sharpening your brain, then there are specific and scientifically proven hobbies you can pursue, such as:
- Learning to play an instrument
- Writing, blogging, journaling
- Creating Art
- Gardening and learning about plant life
- Knitting and sewing
- Aerobic exercises
Besides providing mental sharpness, studies also found that these specific activities can boost and develop your IQ over time. This is because hobbies have a way of engaging nearly every area of your brain, strengthening your cognitive abilities.
Additionally, almost all hobbies make you utilize your senses together with your brain, thus firmly building a strong connection and coordination between them.
But make sure to choose a hobby that you would definitely enjoy doing. This way, you would be able to retain your learning, apply it in life, and actually pursue it as a passion, profession, or both.
4.) Eat for Your Brain
So what does eating have to do with keeping your brain sharp? Well, for starters, studies found strong evidence that adequate consumption of healthy foods can decrease age-related cognitive decline.
Moreover, healthy eating patterns have been known to increase memory, concentration, attention, and thinking skills. You can follow specific diet plans like the Mediterranean and MIND diet strategies to know the type of foods and how much to consume.
You can also opt to eat a combination of healthy foods that have brain-boosting properties, such as:
- Green, leafy veggies
- Fresh or frozen fruits, specifically blueberries, and avocados
- Fatty fish and other kinds of seafood like oysters and crabs
- Whole grains, nuts (walnuts), and seeds (chia and pumpkin seeds)
- Green tea
- Herbs and spices, like turmeric
Additionally, it’s essential to limit your consumption of processed foods as these products often have preservatives and additives that are detrimental to brain health.
Increase your intelligence by filling your system with its much-needed vitamins and minerals to keep the mind nourished.
5.) Stay Active
For a healthier result, pair your healthy diet with a regular dose of aerobic exercises for a healthy physique and stronger brain. This is because staying physically active can help supply the brain with ample amounts of nutrients and oxygen, thus improving its functions. In fact, the CDC suggested a great aerobic activity that’s both senior-friendly and brain empowering一dancing!
Hitting the dance floor has many mental and cognitive benefits, like boosting your memory and improving body-mind coordination.
It’s okay if you don’t have any background in dancing; many online and offline classes teach dancing for beginners. Some of the best activities a beginner can try include:
- Signing up on your senior community’s dancing activities.
- Taking virtual classes of contemporary dancing.
- Invite a friend to try salsa dancing.
- Join free Zumba sessions or start one by hiring a Zumba instructor.
- Find Zumba videos on Youtube and try them on your own.
If you’re not a fan of dancing, you can also try power walking every morning, biking, yoga, and tai chi.
These brain-boosting activities can keep your brain sharper, and your mind occupied alongside memory care services. But make sure to take plenty of rest still so your mind can take a break.
It is also vital to space out your mentally stimulating activities evenly to avoid burnout and mental stress. Of course, brain health is important, but you should always prioritize your happiness first and foremost.