Aging does a lot to the body as well as the mind. Most retirees find that their memory and cognitive health decrease as they age, which can be frustrating and hard to deal with. But exercising your brain can help with these issues. In fact, it can help at any age. The New York Times reported that in a 2012 study, “Participants [of all ages] who regularly did more to challenge their brains — reading, writing, attending lectures or completing word puzzles — did better on fluid intelligence tests than their counterparts who did less.”
So, what can you do to keep your brain as sharp as a tack?
If you’ve been a lifelong fan of books, you may have been slowly building your memory without even knowing it. According to Smithsonian Magazine, being a bookworm throughout your lifetime leads to a slower decline of your cognitive function in old age. Beyond that, “Remaining a bookworm into old age reduced the rate of memory decline by 32 percent compared to engaging in average mental activity. Those who didn’t read or write often later in life did even worse: their memory decline was 48 percent faster than people who spent an average amount of time on these activities.” So whether you prefer a romance novel or a thrilling historical read, you’re doing yourself a favor by cracking open your favorite book.
Play Some Games
Some websites harness the power of science to create games and puzzles that are designed to help with memory and superior brainpower. Sites like Lumosity give you more tailored activities, but it comes at a price (this one is $15/month). Similar is My Brain Trainer, which provides brain teasers that are supposed to “train” your brain just like you train your body during a workout.
Laugh With Friends
According to Fitness Magazine, a study done on 80-year-old subjects showed that those the most social people in the group suffered 70% less cognitive decline than their less social counterparts. That’s great news if you love spending time with family and friends. Not only can they make you happier with their presence, but they can make your brain more sharp. Perhaps you should thank them.
Take a Class
It’s never too late to learn something new in order to enrich your life and keep your brain pumping. At Sherwood Oaks, we offer continuing education classes that are free and open to the public. During the month of October and in the spring, we offer classes three days a week on topics such as history, travelling, books, and more. Plus, some of our residents speak about their interesting careers!
While some memory loss is out of your control, taking these steps will help you to keep your brain in top shape AND add some enriching activities to your life. For more information on October’s upcoming speakers, call 800 642-2217.