Blog Home

Maintaining Brain Health and Cognitive Function

“The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened,” said Mark Twain.

That’s funny. But also, not.

Memory issues are no laughing matter. The unfortunate truth is cognitive abilities, including memory, can decline as we age. Like the other muscles in the body, the mind must be exercised on a daily basis in order to remain sharp. Here are a few brain health tips to help keep you at the top of your mental game.

Keep Moving

Staying physically active can support healthy brain function by improving blood and oxygen flow to the brain and increasing production of key brain chemicals. These chemicals, called growth factors, help generate new brain cells and create new pathways that can enhance the learning process. Complex activities like tennis or dance class provide an even bigger boost. Exercise also appears to protect the hippocampus, a critical component in memory and spatial navigation. Take a leisurely walk with friends and as you get your steps in, you are literally taking steps to combat memory loss and maintain word retrieval skills.

Make a Game of It

Solving puzzles and playing word games on a regular basis are some of the best ways to keep the brain healthy and functioning.

Puzzles and word games engage multiple areas of the brain that affect memory, reasoning, and speed. It’s easy to find books or apps like Lumosity, Elevate, and Brainwell – Brain Training that offer a wide variety of puzzles and brain teasers. There are also great websites like Brain Metrix, Brain HQ, and CogniFit that offer exercises like memory tests, concentration games, and math problems. Some of the website services are free which is an added bonus. Whether you love a good crossword, are a Sudoku devotee, or can’t get enough wordle or quordle, spending a few minutes every day challenging your brain will go a long way toward preserving your cognitive skills.

Stack the Deck in Your Favor

Solve your favorite puzzles in the morning and get together with a few friends at your Overture senior apartment community for a card game in the afternoon. As you pick the pack at Canasta, or get a Grand Slam in Bridge, you’ll be stimulating your brain while enjoying the company of your card buddies. No matter how the cards fall, you’ll have a winning hand just for playing.

Parlez-Vous Francais? Or Espagnol?

Research suggests learning a second language can increase both the language center of the brain and the hippocampus, an area of the brain vulnerable to dementia. Studying a new language also opens neural pathways and increases blood flow to the brain. Join a local class or enroll in an online program like Rosetta Stone. Your brain will say merci!

And While We’re on the Subject of Learning…

One of the best possible tips for a healthy mind is to keep learning. Take a cooking class, learn to paint or attend a lecture at a university outreach program. Your brain will get a workout as those neural pathways tingle with stimulation.

Your Brain Needs Sleep

Your brain requires rest as much as your body. Aim for 7 or 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep nightly to give your brain the opportunity it needs to power down, regenerate, and properly store your memories.

Stay Social

Social interaction is important at all ages, but especially critical to the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of seniors. Isolation can lead to stress and depression that can precipitate memory loss. With that in mind, Overture senior apartment communities are focused on providing unlimited social opportunities to keep active adults engaged and involved with one another. 

Book a tour at the Overture community of your choice today. An enthusiastic community of your peers is waiting to pick your brain about this exciting chapter of life. It is sure to be a great meeting of the minds.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” - Abraham Lincoln

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

  • 0/256