Brain power is a hot topic for all ages, but there has been a particular focus on elder brain health and the power of “Super Agers.” Super agers are a group of older adults who have cognitive abilities on par with people decades younger than them. From what to eat, how to exercise, and who you spend your time with are things super agers are doing on a regular basis. Here are the health-driven areas they have in common.
Physical Activity. Make it a point to exercise 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes. Go for a walk or do chair aerobics while you watch television. Use one-pound weights if you feel extra motivated. Exercise increases the volume of the hippocampus which can reduce memory issues. Always ask your doctor before you start.
Nutrition. Eat more fish, chicken, and berries. The Mediterranean diet has some proven value for brain health, give it a try! Oh, and minimize alcohol.
Sleep. To get good sleep, you need to establish a set wake and sleep routine. In addition, there is benefit in being physically and mentally fatigued before bedtime. Balance both for a good night’s rest.
Stress Reduction. Stress is toxic for the brain. Emotional health contributes to reduction of stress. Keep a positive prospective and surround yourself with positive people. Emotional health also helps super agers move past stressful situations.
Brain Sparks. No doubt crossword puzzles and word searches can help keep your mind sharp, but focusing on challenging thought is a key component. We need “mind scratching moments” to push our brains to grow connections. Problem solving and creative thinking are as healthy as it comes.
Socialize. Socializing is a fun and very effective way to support brain power. Partner up with old friends or make new ones to enjoy hobbies together and enhance your social experience. Expand your mind by trying a new hobby and create new opportunities. Either way it’s a great way to celebrate and enjoy yourself!
Article by Mari Pat McAuliff, CTRS, Director of Active Aging and Memory Care