With age, your body goes through a variety of physical, emotional and mental changes, and that’s inevitable. Memory lapses, in particular, may occasionally occur, but when you experience more significant memory loss, it may be the result of a mental health disorder or neurological illness.

To ensure your brain stays sharp with age and you reduce your risk for developing dementia, there are plenty of healthy habits you can pick up and practice as you age. Here are a few we recommend:

1. Keep your brain stimulated

When was the last time you picked up a book, completed a crossword puzzle or perhaps attended a learning seminar or class to further your knowledge in something that intrigues you? According to Harvard Health Publications, reaching a higher level of knowledge is associated with positive mental health as you age. When you continue to advance your education, even in an informal fashion, you’re challenging your brain to get in the habit of staying active, which activates individual brain cells and stimulates them to communicate.

If you’re retired or your job doesn’t give you the mental satisfaction you’re looking for, test your brain by attending a class, pursuing a challenging hobby, picking up a new skill or volunteering for a project you’re passionate about. Find different activities to keep your brain sharp by challenging it to think in different ways.

2. Follow a healthy diet

Beyond testing the endurance and mental strength of your brain, you need to fuel it with a healthy diet. According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, research shows that 50-year-olds who ate healthy had a 90 percent lower risk of developing dementia than those who didn’t prioritize a nutritious diet. To fuel your body adequately, consider these eating tips provided by the AHA/ASA:

  • Variety is key – eat plenty of different nutritious options among the food groups.
  • Limit your consumption of salt, sugar, saturated fats, trans fat, sodium and red meat.
  • Prioritize fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Consume 1 percent and skim dairy products.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Eat lots of poultry and fish – and make sure it’s skinless.
  • Consume plenty of nuts and legumes.

3. Exercise regularly

While exercise keeps you in great physical shape, it also improves mental clarity and wellness. According to Everyday Health, fitness maintains blood flow to the brain, which can reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure that could be associated with developing dementia. Adults are recommended to spend at least 150 minutes a week performing moderately-intense cardiovascular activity, plus two days a week dedicated to muscle-strengthening exercises.

Improve your mental health with age at the Longevity Centres

Because cognitive skills can be impaired by health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, depression, bad cholesterol levels and hypothyroidism, we recommend browsing through our available treatments in restorative medicine. Let our physicians help you the mitigate the debilitating and disabling diseases associated with aging so you can live your longest and most fulfilling living possible. For more information, contact us directly today.