The human body is at constant work to regenerate cells, cut waste, and maintain balance to survive. But aging affects that delicate balance. Which sometimes results in cognitive decline or a decline in intellect.
These conditions can be attributed to some factors, such as learning and hereditary conditions. Fortunately, there are ways to counter the deterioration of the brain.
If you’re an older adult, here are some tips and strategies to boost cognitive function and stay mentally sharp.
What are Cognitive Functions?
Cognitive functions are critical mental processes that enable us to think, learn, remember, and communicate. Some cognitive function examples include:
- judging/decision making
These play an important role in everyday life, helping us to think independently and make important decisions.
Diet and Nutrition
Individuals should focus on an increased intake of foods high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As well as emphasizing healthy fats and proteins. It is also important to reduce processed foods and added sugar intake.
Dietary choices that are beneficial for brain health include:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Found in fish, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Found in poultry, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and legumes.
Found in seeds, nuts, and spinach.
Dietary supplements, such as ginkgo biloba and Alpha-GPC, can improve mental functioning. Visit this link to learn about alpha-GPC nootropics and their benefits.
Starting slowly by joining a hobby group or leisure classes can make it easier. If a group environment is too overwhelming, one-on-one interactions with people of the same age can give the same benefit. For example, joining a book club or volunteering activity will bring the individual in contact with peers.
Another way to stay social is to form strong relationships with grandchildren or neighbors. Special family gatherings and neighborly visits can bring great joy and happiness as well as cognitive stimulation. Communication also plays an important role, either through monthly phone or video calls or by swapping emails and letters.
Physical activity increases the volume of brain structures associated with memory. It helps reduce age-related brain shrinkage and declines in neural signaling. The improved connectivity between neurons also supports the following:
- faster recall of facts and information
- more efficient problem-solving
Exercise can also help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, which can often negatively impact cognitive functioning.
Older adults can increase the effectiveness of exercise on cognitive health by doing activities they enjoy. Like taking a dance class, going for a hike, or playing a sport.
Improve Sleep Quality
Adequate rest may help reduce memory problems and improve focus, reaction time, and problem-solving ability. To get better sleep, it’s important to be consistent with regular sleep and wake schedule. Additionally, older adults should limit caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol consumption close to bedtime, as these substances are known to disrupt sleep.
Exercise, light stretching, and several quiet leisure activities can also help improve sleep quality. Engaging in this type of low-intensity activity several hours before bedtime, rather than late in the evening, may help support a good night’s sleep. Make sure the environment is comfortable, with a cool, dark, and quiet room ideal for a restful sleep.
Take Action to Boost Cognitive Function Today
Older adults can take steps to improve their cognitive function by leading an active lifestyle, engaging in regular physical and mental activities, staying socially involved, and eating a well-balanced diet.
Everyone over the age of 65 should prioritize the preservation of their brain health, so why not get started today?
For more great health and wellness tips, be sure to check out our blog!