It is never too late to improve cognitive function. These brain-boosting tricks are beneficial at any age and can ultimately propel you to become the best version of yourself. Even a fast-aging brain can sharpen memory, refine mental ability, and strengthen your body with the right tools. Luckily, the resources that are most beneficial for enhancing your brain function are likely right in front of you! Exercise classes, eating healthier, and learning something new are just a few of the easiest ways to quickly improve your overall function. Besides these no-brainers, pun intended, Foxtail Senior Living is here to help you boost your brain health so you can experience life to the fullest at any age.
Simply having a conversation with another gets your brain gears moving. While having a conversation, your brain will determine how to respond. Depending on if the conversation is that of a happy or despairing mood, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and more are released, giving you a sense of feeling that you determine is good or bad. When there is an imbalance of these feel-good chemicals, you are more susceptible to depression and anxiety. Instead of resorting to medication, some things you can do to balance out these neurotransmitters are exercise and consuming more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vegetables.
Card games, board games, and social games are not only ways to improve your social interaction, but they can also repair memory while using parts of the brain that are not utilized as much with age. Studies show that some brain training games can boost brain ability in seniors for up to 10 years! Traditional one-player challenges like jigsaw puzzles and sudoku are some tangible brain boosters that will help you stay sharp throughout the day. If you are trying to excel your brain’s normal function, online apps such as Luminosity are made to stimulate your brain with specific activities that improve metacognition. Board games are also beneficial for cognition because they almost always require interaction between opposing players. Developing that competitive nature while socializing helps your brain release dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters within the brain that makes you feel content.
Although you have probably heard of this solution before, getting an adequate amount of sleep each night greatly impacts your brain function. Sleep is where your brain processes all of the information from the previous day. Because of this, memory is greatly affected by your sleep schedule. If you sleep too long or not enough, you will either retain unwanted memories or not retain enough important memories.
Another reason sleep is so important is because harmful toxins are burned off more efficiently while the body is unconscious. Because the gap between brain cells increases during sleep, it is easier to cleanse the brain of toxins, like the β-amyloid protein, a precursor to dementia. To avoid memory care in the future, find a sleep schedule that is comfortable for you. If you find no effect, taking a sleep study test may propel your sleep to the next level.
This is not the only reason sleep deprivation can be harmful to you. Your attention span and decision-making skills are affected by how much energy your body has regenerated during its sleep cycle. According to Forbes, the loss of 2 hours of sleep per night for 14 nights—left participants with poorer performance on certain neurobehavioral tasks that involved attention and short-term memory. This is why sleep deprivation is so prominent in automobile accidents.
Schedule Your Appointments
If you have not checked up on your basic health in the last year, now should be the time! Routine checkups are often covered by insurance or free clinics are available in certain areas. By checking in with your doctor, you will find solutions to minor problems, making you feel rejuvenated, while also giving the experts a chance to potentially detect something more serious.
Cut Down on Bad Habits
If you are a culprit this will sound like a broken record, but drinking alcohol and smoking is negatively affecting your overall brain function, memory, and sleep patterns. When an individual consumes too much alcohol, at a consistent rate over time, it could lead to brain damage or even death. Smoking, on the other hand, increases the risk of dementia because of nicotine’s ability to affect the structure of the subcortical brain regions. The good news is that cutting the activity of smoking out of your life can repair the structure within the cortex and your receptors will return to normal. For help, contact a doctor or do it yourself by trying alternatives like nicotine gum or pouches to ween yourself off.
At Foxtail, we want all seniors to live their best lives while staying healthy. Whether you or your loved one join our Eagle senior living center, Meridian assisted living center, or Boise assisted living center, residents will be accommodated with medication management, weekly activities, three meals daily with a 24-hour snack and beverage bar, and much more. To learn more about senior living, memory care, or assisted living at Foxtail, contact us today!
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