As people age, it is not uncommon for their cognitive functions, including memory, to begin to decline. In its most benign forms, this manifests in small memory lapses, often referred to as “senior moments;” more severe cognitive impairment, however, can take the form of dementia. While there’s no certain way to prevent dementia, there is good evidence that certain lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your risk. In this blog post, we share five small and simple things you can do each day to help keep your brain young.
It can’t be said enough — body and brain health are inextricable. Staying physically active helps keep your heart and lungs strong, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and obesity, all of which have been linked to a higher risk of dementia.
Believe it or not, negative stereotypes, such as the aforementioned “senior moment,” can actually contribute to failing memory. Instead of telling yourself that as you age you will lose control of your cognitive function, tell yourself that you will maintain and even improve your memory through proactive steps, such as positive self-talk. If you believe you can improve your brain health, and put that belief into practice, then you have a better chance of keeping sharp at any age.
Staying engaged socially with other active older adults can help ward off loneliness and isolation, which can lead to depression, another risk factor for dementia. That’s why having a community is not only fun — it’s actually good for you! Look for some activities that you can participate in locally, such as book clubs, fitness groups, and volunteer work. If getting out of the house prevents challenges, then you can even seek connection online.
All BIPRI programs offer live community support via the BIPRI online portal. When you sign up for one of our programs, such as Daily Brain Support, you receive lifetime access to the BIPRI online community, where you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through — and remind you that you’re not alone.
Get Mental Stimulation
Crossword lovers, trivia fiends, and math whizzes rejoice! Challenging your brain regularly with mental stimulation has been shown to offset the risk of dementia. “Brainy” activities have been shown to actually form new connections in the brain and potentially even generate new cells. This is called neuroplasticity, and it essentially functions as a hedge against any future cell loss. Mentally stimulating activities don’t just have to be “logical” — creative endeavors, such as writing, drawing, and painting can help improve both your mental and manual dexterity.
Find brain training that actually works in BrainHQ — the BIPRI brain game app. BrainHQ includes 29 effective brain training exercises to help work out your attention, memory, brain speed, and more.
Limit Your Drinking
Excessive drinking has been shown to be a major risk factor for dementia. Avoiding alcohol as you age is essential for reducing your risk of cognitive decline. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. We recommend limiting yourself to two drinks a day.
Stay Sharp at Any Age With BIPRI