At every phase of life it is important to exercise your mind. The decline of one’s mental capacities is an issue for many older adults, sometimes these issues are part of a larger disease, such as dementia related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The good news is committing to engaging your mind can improve the mental health of senior citizens. To maintain your health as you age, exercise, take care of yourself, and talk through personal problems.
Continue to Learn New Things
In order to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp, make a commitment to learn new things no matter how old you are. Often, people shy away from new activates because they worry about not achieving the results they want. But once you get started with a new challenge, it is likely you will surprise yourself and enjoy it.
Whatever new skill you choose is up to you. Some ideas include taking up photography, sewing, or learning a new language. Enjoy the process of learning rather than getting distracted by your successes. For example, if you are learning a language it is unlikely you’ll ever sound like it’s your native language. That said, you can still learn and have your brain benefit from your studying.
Manage the Stress in Your Life
Life can be stressful. Uncomfortable moments and experiences can’t be avoided and some find that stress can become more prominent as we age. This is because loved ones pass away and there can be less contact with family members who have moved or friends we’ve drifted apart from. Plus, health concerns and world issues create anxiety as well. Dealing with loss and stress is important for your physical and mental health as you age. Talking through issues with a counselor can help.
Keep it Social
Another way to exercise your brain is to be social. Engaging with other people is good for your cognitive health and has the added benefit of increasing your overall happiness. While family members can be nurturing and supportive, make the effort to have social contacts outside of your family, too. If you are not sure how to get started, try taking a class at a local senior center, volunteer at a local nonprofit, or join a health club. All of these options likely have many opportunities for you to connect with other older adults.
Brain and Body Connection
After much research, it is well documented that there is a clear connection between the brain and the body. So, physical exercise will not only help you maintain a strong and flexible body, but your brain will also benefit from the increase in physical output.
Low-intensity activities are valid and beneficial, so don’t move straight to high-intensity aerobic workouts, particularly if you have been sedentary for a while. Go easy on yourself and introduce more movement into your days. The idea is to help your body heal and strengthen, not to do any harm.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.