Healthy Mind

Nourish your noggin

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Written by Healthy Living

These important steps can help maintain brain health.

Story: J.L. Thompson 

Ask almost anybody and they’ll tell you dementia and memory loss are normal, unavoidable parts of aging. They are not, though. Dementia and memory loss do indeed strike many elderly people. However, a great majority of the decline in memory and focus that most older people experience is mostly due to the accumulated bad mental habits developed over their lifetimes. By establishing good habits for your mind before you are elderly, you can prevent mental decline in your old age.

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Change your routine

Drive to work by a different route. Go somewhere new for lunch. Watch different programs. These periodic changes keep your mind flexible.

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Play games regularly

Get together with your friends once a week and play games. This can develop the parts of your mind that handle memory and reasoning. The regular socializing also will provide a benefit for your brain.

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Exercise 

Exercise is not only good for your body, it also boosts your brain. Work out regularly and your brain, as well as your body, will be fit.

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Eat the right diet

Eat a balanced diet that is low in fat and cholesterol and high in antioxidants. Such a diet will give your brain a lot of protection against cognitive decline.

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Cross-train your brain

You should regularly give yourself new experiences that involve different skills and senses working together. Learn how to cook, for example, or how to paint. Learning such skills encourages different parts of your brain to make new connections with each other, making your brain more robust, which, in turn, protects your brain against decline.

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Never stop learning

Take adult learning courses whenever you can. Audit some courses at your local university. If you learn new things throughout your life, you will make your mind flexible and strong in old age. Try learning a second language, which is particularly beneficial to the aging mind.

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Do things with your other hand

Periodically do things with your nondominant hand. If you are right-handed, this means doing things with your left hand. You should sometimes brush your teeth with your nondominant hand or hold your fork with it at meal times. Doing so also encourages your brain to develop new connections.

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Do a puzzle every day

Try a crossword puzzle, a word jumble, sudoku, or even math equations in your head without writing anything down. This kind of daily activity can give your brain a boost. This habit will not only help your brain a lot later in life, it also will make it sharper now.


The takeaway

Establish these habits and they will pay off in your old age. They also will be beneficial to you in your present life.

About the writer Dr. Antoine Kanamugire specializes in psychiatry. He completed a medical degree at the University of Sherbrooke and then a specialty in psychiatry at the University of Montreal. This story is an excerpt from “The 21 Unspoken Truths About Marijuana,” used with permission. To learn more, visit drantoine.org.

About the author

Healthy Living

Healthy Living is unique in a sea of health magazines that only present information on nutrition and exercise. Published by Akers Media Group, Healthy Living goes much farther by focusing on the four pillars of a true wellness — physical, mental, spiritual and financial health.

Healthy Living promotes a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle with easy-to-read features, try-it-at-home exercise programs, and expert advice from financial planners, mental health professionals, and a variety of other leaders in their respective fields.

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