It used to be that 60 was old but that is far from the case these days. At 60 people are still vibrant and active and far from “old”. This transition took place with the boomer generation, myself included, who realize that if you think young, take care of yourself, and work for it, we can have a high quality of life well into our 70’s and longer.
You just have to desire it and work for it. It seems so well worth the effort – enjoying retirement – not being restricted due to bad health.
Yes, science has shown that using and exercising brain function is good for the brain and can be considered exercise. Stimulate your brain, learn something new. Stimulate your senses. Do puzzles, learn a word a day, read the newspapers, surf the internet, watch the news and keep up on current events happening around you. Develop relationships and friendships with lively people to have lively discussions with.
There are some habits you can try to improve on and be conscious of that may assist in your memory retention.
- Pay Attention to what is going on. Concentrate and focus on something you want to retain. Remembering something starts with ingraining it into your head. Do not try to multitask at this moment.
- Use all your senses – try to come up with a visual that will serve as a reminder of what you want to remember. Associate a picture or visual image. Trying to remember a name, date, or other key fact, try repeating it out loud a few times. Use your audio senses.
- Write it down! – The easiest and the most full proof method of jarring and assisting our memories. A great lesson for young and old. Sometimes your brain just needs one word, one little note to trigger the memory. There probably isn’t a great need to write a reminder in depth. You sometimes just need that little nudge
- Surf the Internet – Recent studies have shown that seniors who surf the internet on a regular basis increase the brain activity in the part of the brain that affects memory and decision making as well as other complex functions. Some researchers hope to prove that surfing the web may even help delay the beginning of dementia.
There are now gyms especially designed to help our senior brains improve. Studies have shown that brain workouts can help improve our memories as well as reasoning functions. There are online programs if joining a gym has never been your thing. Most of these gyms are based in a computer lab typesetting. Using electronic games and timed exercises, results are noticeable to people that are devoted to these gyms.
Nutrition plays a large part in the health of your brain and your memory. In addition to feeding health nutritious items that are good for your body, but a diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables will also help keep your brain healthy.
Research shows that certain nutrients are great for brain function.
- B6, B12 and Folic Acid – Affect the making of red blood cells which carry oxygen. (Sources: Soybeans, strawberries, melons, spinach, dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, black beans and other legumes, citrus fruits)
- Vitamin D – There is direct correlation between improved attention, faster processing of information, and general better mental functionality. Vitamin D also reduces risk of dementia.
- Omega 3 – Fatty Acids – (Sources: Salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, and mackerel; walnuts and walnut oil; flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- Vitamins C and E, and beta carotene – Antioxidants – Antioxidants improve the flow of oxygen through the brain. (Sources: Berries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, green tea, nuts and seeds, citrus fruits, liver)
We’ve heard for years that doing puzzles – such as crossword puzzles – can help us stay sharp and keep the brain working. Recently, this has been expanded to include video games. Recent studies show that seniors playing video games have the benefit of seeing improvement in memory and reasoning ability. The brain is more agile.
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