Studies show that adopting fundamental lifestyle behaviors can help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Try incorporating these six tips into your current routine to improve your neurological health.
In addition to contributing to overall wellness, physical activity has many brain health benefits. Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, biking and swimming, elevates the heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain. It’s recommended to aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intense activity each week.
Try our walking groups, exercise programs, pool, fitness center and walking trails.
Get plenty of rest.
Sleep helps to store memories. Seven to eight hours of sleep each night is most beneficial to maintaining brain health.
Maintaining social engagement lowers the risk of dementia and can extend life expectancy. Choose and participate in social activities that are meaningful to you. Participate in social activities provided by our Resident Life and Life Enrichment departments and resident-led social committee as well as join resident clubs and volunteer inside and outside of the community.
Stay mentally active.
Activate your mind by completing a jigsaw puzzle, creating something artistic, or playing a card game that will make you think strategically. Challenging your mind can contribute to brain health and provide short and long-term benefits.
Chronic stress harms the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Meditation, mindful breathing, yoga and spending time outdoors are all great approaches to reducing stress and anxiety. Simply enjoying the scenic views of our community will surely help to reduce your stress and anxiety.
Proper nutrition is beneficial for the mind and body. Try to incorporate a balanced diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Dark green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, berries and walnuts are valuable for brain health. Look for our selection of Mindful Meals in our dining venues, and learn more about nutrition from our dietician.
Our brains change with aging, but Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are not an inevitable part of aging. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, up to 40 percent of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed. It’s never too late to start taking better care of your body’s most vital organ – your brain.
Sherry Stick is the fitness and aquatics coordinator at Carroll Lutheran Village and has been working for CLV for nearly 20 years.