The importance of physical activity for any age has always been emphasized, but as we age it becomes necessary in order to strengthen our bodies. However, while taking care of the body is vital, so is looking after the brain. Mental workouts are as important as physical workouts – to strengthen your mind, boost memory and thinking skills. When you get older, the volume of your brain shrinks. Some nerve cells in your brain can shrink or lose connections with other nerve cells as a result of this. As you get older, the brain’s blood flow also slows down a little. Therefore, as an integral element of elderly care, it is necessary for older adults to weave certain activities and habits into their daily lives to sharpen their minds and stay mentally active.
Elderly caregivers and family caregivers should also encourage their senior loved ones to take part in mind-sharpening activities every day. There are several ways to sharpen your mental acuity and keep your brain safe, regardless of your age, according to research. Certain brain exercises that improve memory, attention, and focus will help you complete everyday tasks faster and more easily, as well as keep your mind sharp as you age.
Let’s take a look!
1. Keep Learning
There’s really no age to stop learning. Experts believe that advanced learning can help people strengthen their memory by instilling the habit of being mentally active. Mental exercise is thought to activate mechanisms that help retain individual brain cells while also stimulating contact between them. Many people have jobs that keep them mentally busy, but older adults can take up a hobby or learning a new skill that will help enhance their brainpower. Read, enter a book club, play chess or bridge, keep a journal and pen your thoughts or your life story, do crossword or jigsaw puzzles, enroll in a class, study music or art, or plan a new garden layout.
2. Use All Your Senses
The more senses you use when learning something, the more of your brain is engaged in memory retention. Try doing exercises that activate all five of your senses at the same time to work your senses and your brain. You could bake cookies, go to a farmer’s market, or try a new restaurant while focusing on smelling, touching, tasting, seeing, and hearing all at the same time.
3. Regular Physical Activity
Yes, not just your body, but regular exercise also enhances your brain and makes it sharper.Since the mind and body are intertwined, what benefits the body also benefits the brain. Regular exercise, even if it’s just a short stroll, will help you improve your memory and cognitive abilities. According to research, the effect of the foot on the ground during a walk sends pressure waves through the arteries, increasing blood flow and leading to a healthy mind.
4. Use Mental Aids
You’ll be able to focus on learning and remembering new and important things if you don’t have to exert mental energy remembering where you left your keys or the time of your granddaughter’s birthday party. To keep routine info available, use calendars and planners, maps, shopping lists, file folders, and address books. Make a space at home for your glasses, purse, keys, and other frequently used items. Remove clutter from your office or home to reduce distractions and allow you to concentrate on new details.
5. Believe in Yourself
Myths about aging can lead to memory loss. Studies have shown that, when middle-aged and older learners are subjected to negative assumptions about aging and memory, they perform worse on memory tests, while positive messages about memory retention into old age perform better. People who feel they have no control over their memory function are less likely to work to retain or improve their memory skills, increasing their risk of cognitive impairment. You have a better chance of keeping your mind sharp if you believe you can change and put the confidence into effect.
By incorporating these 5 points in their daily lives, older adults will get a chance to challenge their brains, sharpen their cognitive skills, and possibly learn something new and enriching as well. As a part of their elderly care duties, caregivers, too, need to ensure that their senior loved ones follow these activities on a daily basis in order to enhance their mental strength.