Maintaining brain health is more than playing Sudoku or learning a new language. Both benefit you greatly. But…
It’s a healthy diet and physical exercise that your body needs most.
And your brain even more so…
You see, brain health thrives on the unrestricted flow of nutrient-rich and well oxygenated blood.
In particular, older adults need to assure unencumbered blood circulation, because as we age our blood vessels tend to harden and become obstructed (arteriosclerosis).
But to be very clear about this -- “age-related” does NOT equal “inevitable.”
There is no denying that as we get older our body - and its systems, including the brain - age along with it.
This doesn't mean that memory issues (click here for more) need to interfere with your everyday life.
Yes, your brain shrinks slightly in volume, and some cells die. But your brain continues to make new neurons and fine-tune their connections even very late in senior life.
Research shows that older adults can and should keep learning and acquiring new skills throughout life.
Now, there is clear evidence that supplying your body - and thus your brain - with a healthy whole foods, plant-based diet will vastly improve your odds for avoiding memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Better yet, don’t think of it in terms of improving the odds, but rather in terms of actually improving brain function.
A well-balanced, plant-strong diet, with emphasis on “smart” foods, will help you become the senior health success that you came here to find.
Some of the “smart” food items are
Looks like I just described to you some of the main ingredients for a perfect breakfast, didn’t I?
Don’t forget to add a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseeds to it…
Other “smart” foods are
A little dark chocolate (the darker the better) will round off this healthy meal very nicely.
Okay, on to the other pillar of brain health…
Exercise is equally as vital for the health of your brain as is a truly healthy diet.
We all, baby boomers, older adults, seniors will greatly benefit from a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week, spread over 5 or 6 days.
That’s 25 to 30 minutes a day - which anyone can do. Well, older adults who are really out of shape may have to start with less and build up to that.
Aerobic exercise is especially helpful in reducing the loss of brain volume - and it keeps your cognitive abilities sharp.
In fact, scientific research shows that exercise can increase the size of your hippocampus.
Being a major component of the human brain, its main function is to consolidate information from short-term to long-term memory.
I say it on many pages of SeniorHealthSuccess, and I say it here again…
It’s never too late to start exercising.
Older adults need to hear this:
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are avoidable.
Aerobic exercise is key.
I learned years ago that you can “run away” from Alzheimer’s.
And so, this Health Coach has been running ever since…
Beside aerobics, strength training is part of the beneficial physical activity.
Not only does it help stem the loss of memory, but it actually improves your ability to remember.
And don’t forget to incorporate brain exercises in this program.
Oh, did you know that dancing combines all these benefits?
I’m trying to help you see yet another benefit -- FUN. You can and should have fun when exercising.
Enjoying exercise, such as dancing, provides huge built-in benefits with regard to brain health…
It helps in the fight against depression. Depression has now reached epidemic proportions in America.
I have devoted a separate page named "Depression in Older Adults" to this devastating disorder.
There is a reluctance in seniors - and many others - to make changes to lifelong poor nutrition or exercise habits. I understand that.
But SeniorHealthSuccess is about making changes, not making excuses anymore. Your brain health depends on you. Time is running.
Health Coaching You Can Count On may help you take the first step.
Shall we dance?
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