Take Charge of Your Brain Health

Throughout your life, your brain’s job is to help you make sense of the world and helps to oversee your daily function and well-being. Brain function also offers the ability to learn, remember, pursue and enjoy leisure, concentrate, and maintain a clear, active mind. The strengths of your brain manage information, logic, judgment, perspective, and wisdom. We owe it to ourselves to invest in brain health by making the most of brain and helping reduce some risks to it as you age.

Age is not the only thing to blame for brain decline. Like a muscle, your brain needs constant exercise to stay in shape. Modern society deprives us of essential mental exercise. Verbal communication and storytelling of historic events were the only way to spread culture to younger generations. There were no telephones, televisions, or computers distracting attention and distorting the ways in which brains processed information.

As a result, a strong memory was an essential part of everyday life. Modern technology denies crucial exercise to certain areas of our brains causing it to atrophy in two important ways:

      • Exposed to numerous sources of stimulation which constantly disrupt thought.
      • The need to remember phone numbers, addresses, dates, or even basic navigation, because our phones, have replaced our memory strength

These factors train your mind to forget and place you at risk for an earlier onset of cognitive decline. But wait, you don’t have to toss that phone or computer out the window! Here are some things you can do for better brain health.

Learn more or a new concept. It’s never too late to take a class, read, play a game or perhaps visit a museum. Keep those neurons firing by having “head scratching moments”.  Think of something you always wanted to try or learn… now is the time.

Take charge. Manage your health, know your medication and their side effects, invest in the partnership between you and your physician. Challenge yourself both physically and emotionally. Research what it means to achieve wellness. Know what is important to you then get to it!

Get moving. Older Americans need, on average, 150 minutes of exercise a week. This helps to increase blood flow to the brain and reduce falls and strokes. Include exercise or activities that enhance your balance, strength and cardio-vascular health.

Stay connected. Socialize, engage with others, volunteer and pursue leisure. This contributes to keeping your mind sharp, provides a sense of belonging, deters depression, and keeps the mind diversified.

Eat right. Grab an extra helping of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats like fish and poultry as well as low fat or non-fat dairy. Avoid excessive fat, salt, and sugar. Remember to always eat proper portions.

Reduce Stress. Stress is significant in effecting brain health. According to Psychology Today, neuroscientists have found that chronic stress triggers long-term changes in the brain structure and function. Seek leisure activities that increase joy in your life.

You don’t have to look far to invest in brain health you simply have to take control and challenge yourself. Capri Senior Communities recognizes that through active aging and the components of wellness it is easy and possible to maintain the best brain health possible. Something fresh and new can be fun and good for you, too! Simply keep an open mind and don’t be intimidated to try.

If you’re interested in finding out more about brain health and wellness come visit one of our Capri Senior Communities for more information about our active aging programs. Wishing you great brain health, brain power and fun galore!

Article by Mari Pat McAuliff, CTRS, Director of Active Aging and Memory Care