The brain is the most important organ in the body, but we all know that it can lose some of its sharpness as we age into retirement. The good news is that you can slow or even reverse these effects by challenging your brain with daily stimulation. Here are five ways to boost your brain function:
- Healthy diet = healthy brain. A nutritious diet is key to keeping your brain functioning at optimal levels. Researchers have found that regularly eating fish and green leafy vegetables can slow the rate of cognitive decline in adults 65 and older. Foods like spinach, kale, collard greens, tuna, salmon, and even dark chocolate are high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that can help improve brain function and lower your risk for developing dementia.
- Exercise helps repair your brain. Regular exercise can significantly impact your brain’s function – in a good way. Aerobic exercise can stimulate chemicals that support the growth and repair of new brain cells, and even enhance the part of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, three times a week, is enough to produce improvements.
- Forge new friendships. Forming new friendships challenges your brain to make new connections. Making friends who share common interests can also stimulate your mental engagement and keep your brain active well into retirement. Strong social ties can also help you avoid chronic stress and loneliness, and even increase your life span.
- Brush up on old skills. Has it been a while since you’ve played piano or crocheted a scarf? Relearning old skills and taking them up again is one way to preserve memory. Creative outlets can improve mental clarity and enhance your ability to recall information.
- Learn something new every day. Learning a difficult new skill is one of the best ways to preserve your mental acuity. In fact, the more you use your brain, the better it will perform. Retirement is a great time to try something new, whether you join a book club, discover a challenging card game, or even learn a new language. The combination of mental and physical effort keeps your brain sharp and active, helping you live a longer, happier life!