Keeping your brain fit in later life

Posted on: 29 April 2014 by Lynda Shaw

Dr Lynda Shaw says challenge your mental accuity and keep your brain healthy in retirement with these quick tips.

Protecting brain health after 50

Keeping your brain healthy is as important as keeping your body fit particularly for those of us in our 50s. To avoid feeling sluggish and to help fight off symptoms of Dementia, there are many things we can do to keep our brain fit.

  1. Like the rest of our body, our brains can get tired if you put them under a lot of pressure and stress so try to avoid situations which add unnecessarily to stress levels.
     
  2. Doing something out of your comfort zone can be really helpful because it will set your mind and brain to work and will awaken your senses and concentration. If you’re going for a hike or just taking the dog for a walk, try a new route, even if you’re not entirely sure where you’re going. It will get your brain thinking.
     
  3. It might sound bizarre but unhealthy gums and dehydration can also affect your brain and your concentration. Make sure you drink a lot during the day and use dental floss multiple times a day before brushing your teeth, or after every meal to keep your gums healthy.
     
  4. Eating healthily can have a huge positive effect on your brain and emotions. Try not to stick with the same old comfort food, but have as many colours in your diet as possible. It’s much easier to eat healthy food and colourful meals now that spring is just around the corner with lots of tasty and fresh vegetables and fruits.
     
  5. We bombard our senses with computers, TVs and phones. Try to take some time out away from technology. Go for a leisurely walk after supper, or read a good book before going to sleep.
     
  6. If you really want to challenge your brain, try switching hands. Do something like peeling vegetables with your left hand if you are right handed. This will force your brain to focus more on the task than it would normally if you were doing it with your dominant hand.
     
  7. To give your brain a healthy workout you might want to do crosswords, Sudoku, or something tougher like learning a new language. It’s a brains equivalent of going to the gym.
     
  8. Before going to sleep try to wind down from all the stress of your day. Relax by reading, having a nice long bath or listening to relaxing music. Music can have a particularly soothing and calming effect, if you pick the right type.

 

www.drlyndashaw.com

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