Great Minds: Keeping Your Brain Active as You Age

Think about it. Your brain is a tool that helps you understand, learn and remember. It helps you make decisions and feel a sense of well-being. So keeping it sharp as you age may be every bit as useful as strong muscles and a healthy heart.

According to the National Institute on Aging, engaging your brain in stimulating activities — like learning new skills — may help offset brain changes that occur naturally as you age.1 Over time, that might help you maintain or even improve your ability to think and remember things clearly.

Ready, set, engage your brain! 

There’s no surefire way to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. But engaging in mentally stimulating activities may benefit the brain — and your mood. After all, active minds are often happier minds.

To tap into potential brain benefits, give some of these ideas a try:

Play games. Work on a puzzle, solve a riddle or try your hand at a mind teaser. Even better, play board games or cards with family and friends. Social activities are good for your mind and mood too.

Have fun with a hobby. What have you always wanted to try? Maybe it’s photography, quilting or gardening. Besides the possible brain benefits, hobbies may be a great way to meet new people and stay active.

Be a volunteer. Helping out at a school, library, hospital or food bank, for instance, may teach you new skills or help keep old ones sharp. Plus, helping others just feels good.

Hit the books. Dare yourself to read books or magazines that challenge you. Let your mind explore new ideas, places, people or time periods.

Learn something new. Want to know how to program a computer? Speak a foreign language? Check out community classes in your area. Or watch videos online.

Encourage your creative side. Take up cooking, painting, acting or other forms of art. Creative activities can help exercise memory, thinking and problem-solving skills.

Want to explore more ways to stimulate your brain? Check out these 30 brain boosters — an idea for each day of the month!

Talk with your doctor if you think you may have a problem with memory loss.

 

1Source: National Institute on Aging. Cognitive Health and Older Adults. nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults(opens in a new window). Published May 17, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2018.

Additional source: Alzheimer’s Association

For your FREE Baseline Memory Screen, call Memory Matters at (843) 842-6688 to schedule a confidential assessment with our Brain Health Specialist, Maureen Gleason.

 

3/2019

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