You’ve probably seen that Hallmark card that says something like, “You don’t get older, you get better!” But the idea isn’t just a molasses feeling, you can actually make it happen, especially in terms of brain health. Science has discovered that there are specific steps you can take to keep your brain healthy and alert after age 60. Here are five of the most essential. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these sure signs that you have a ‘long’ COVID and may not even know it.
Sleep is essential for keeping the brain healthy, especially with age. During sleep, the brain goes through a “flushing cycle,” cleaning itself of toxic plaques and debris that can contribute to dementia. Experts, including the National Sleep Foundation, recommend that adults of all ages get seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night.
Experts say that regular exercise can keep your brain healthy and reduce the risk of dementia. This is because physical activity stimulates the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and produces growth hormones that increase its network of blood vessels. the American Heart Association recommends doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Examples include brisk walking, dancing, or gardening.
Researchers have found that loneliness can increase the risk of dementia in the elderly by 50%. Feeling alone seems to cause a stress response in the body, which can damage the heart and brain. When focusing on your health after 60, consider socialization as important as exercise. Stay in touch with friends and family, join activity or support groups, or volunteer.
As you work out to keep your heart and muscles in good shape, don’t forget to exercise your brain as well. Expose yourself to different experiences and learn new skills. “Any brain exercise is better than being a mental couch potato,” says Harvard Medical School. “But the activities that have the most impact are those that require you to work beyond what is easy and comfortable.” Try learning a foreign language, learning a musical instrument, or signing up for that art or continuing education course you’ve thought of.
“Having a positive outlook on aging is associated with both living longer and living better,” says Scott Kaiser, MD, a certified geriatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Researchers at Yale University found that older people who viewed aging positively lived 7.5 years longer and had lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease than people who viewed more negatively. Meanwhile, to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit any of these sites 35 places where you’re most likely to catch COVID.