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Our Favourite Tips For Keeping Your Mind Active as You Get Older

Everyone wants to keep their mind healthy and active for as long as possible, and it's never too early to start thinking about the things you can do to make that happen

 

If you turn on your TV, open a magazine, or browse the web, you'll see lots of advice for keeping fit and making sure that you exercise regularly. Does it sound familiar? It's worthwhile advice, but as you get older, it's also equally important that you keep your mind active too.

Benefits for parents 

Usually we highlight things you can do to help with your parenting skills - this week we decided to focus on you. Keeping your mind active has big benefits when it comes to parenting.

Regardless of whether you're in your 20's or 70's, we all have moments where we forget what we went upstairs for or when we can't remember the name of the milkman/postman/neighbour, but keeping your cognitive function strong and stimulated is a way of helping to boost your brainpower and keep your mind sharp and focused as you get older.

Memory 

Repetition

If there's something you particularly want to remember then try saying it out loud a few times or writing it down somewhere. By verbalising a thought or writing it down, you're externalising it and making the memory more real. Repetition helps to reinforce your thoughts.

Don't waste time

Meditation is good for keeping a healthy mindOur brain can get tired after a hard day of keeping up with us, so sometimes mental energy can be low. Prioritise what you use your brain power for by writing important things down, so there's more time to learn new information.

Time out

Taking time out to collect your thoughts and sit peacefully is also a great way to rejuvenate your mind and prepare it for the day ahead. If you're feeling calm and your head is clear, you'll feel more confident about learning new things and retaining information.

Long-term repetition

We touched on the power of repetition and how it can be really useful in short periods of time and for processing information. To ensure that your long-term memory is retaining the information, it's a good idea to re-study certain things you want to remember over a longer period of time. Spacing repetition out means it becomes easier for you to remember more complex subjects - and is why we don't recommend cramming for exams.

Exercise your brain 

Sensory stimulation

Sensory stimulation is a really important way of keeping our minds active as we get older. Stimulation can be found everywhere. Taking a walk and experiencing sights, sounds and smells can keep your mind alert, and the same can be said for listening to a favourite piece of music, painting or doing a jigsaw puzzle.

Brain teasers

Stimulate your brain with a puzzle Quizzes, crosswords and brain teasers can help to exercise your brain and enhance your brain power. They're a really fun way to stretch your brain and learn new skills. Tackling a new task is a way of shaking up your cognitive function and doing some mental sit-ups!

Learn something new

We live in an information age, and there are always new things to learn right at our fingertips. It can be overwhelming, and we don't need to know everything! But taking a small part out of your day to try and learn something new - and then tell someone else about it - is a great way to refresh our minds with new information.

Lifestyle

Exercise

As well as keeping the rest of your body in tip-top condition, regular exercise helps keep your brain healthy too. Your brain gradually gets fitter when you do exercise, and you can go at whatever pace suits you, whether that's seated exercise, a brisk walk around the park, or chasing your children around the house.

Trying something different

Getting completely out of your comfort zone and trying to learn skills that aren't in your current skill set can be a great way to stimulate your brain and keep it buzzing. Reading and writing are stimulating activities but doing something you're not used to, like gardening or a more niche activity like pottery, helps your mind to think differently as it approaches new situations.

Diet

Exercise is good for keeping a healthy brain

Having a healthy diet helps your long-term health and wellbeing, but there are also certain foods that your brain loves. Good digestion means that energy gets to your brain more efficiently, so foods that are high in fibre, with moderate amounts of fat and protein are good. Eating fish is also good for your brain because of omega 3 fatty acids in them. If you're not a fan of fish, then leafy greens, oils, nuts and seeds are great too.

This post is brought to you by Active Minds, an award-winning product design company. They create and sell meaningful activity products for people with dementia. 

 
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