According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), cognitive health is the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember. Is the idea of losing memories and the ability to navigate life due to cognitive decline a fear of yours? Retaining cognitive health is an important pillar of health that you can nurture at any time in your life. Here we’ve highlighted five ways to help boost and retain your cognitive abilities.
1. Eat your veggies
Research shows eating leafy greens can actually prevent cognitive decline.
Dining on greens could potentially help preserve memory and thinking skills. Now that’s a good reason to load up on the salad bar! Also, read Lilian Kafka’s experience of doubling her fruit and vegetable consumption to a whopping 10 servings per day.
2. Sleep better
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website published Table #3, which shows significant differences in disease rates depending on how much someone sleeps.
According to an article in NeurologyNow, adequate sleep helps people consolidate memories and remove brain toxins, including the plaque linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Evidently, it’s worth the time and energy to learn the best ways to get seven or more hours of sleep. Comment below with your best sleeping tips.
3. Exercise smarter
Physical fitness has too many benefits to dive into here, but one of the most recent and exciting breakthroughs regarding exercise illustrates how short bursts of intense exercise actually give the human brain a cognitive boost. According to research at Canada’s Western University, just 10 minutes of aerobic activity temporarily improves problem-solving abilities and improves mental focus. With that news, you should do a set of jumping jacks before your next big business presentation or exam.
4. Save money for emergencies and retirement
Next to exercise, another common goal is saving money — for retirement, college, emergencies, or for that once-in-a-lifetime African safari. Saving for these known and unforeseeable events can give you peace of mind, which helps eliminate stress. Once you’ve accumulated enough for emergencies, you have the luxury of thinking about that vacation. Don’t delay just because the known events seem far away. No one can predict job loss, illness, earthquakes, or the refrigerator calling it quits. With money saved, you can successfully live through many of these unforeseeable setbacks without losing everything.
5. Engage in meaningful activities
Continue doing activities you love that connect you to others. Volunteer for an organization that is important to you.
A review of 15 articles in the Journals of Gerontology shows when adults, older than 55, volunteer in the community, they defy cognitive aging. Staying active, connecting with other people, and giving back to the world can keep your brain active and help you feel more engaged. What activities give you energy and improve your mental and physical well-being? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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