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Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Brain

By Donna Stark

Aging can certainly take its toll on the brain. Our mental processing becomes slower, our memory becomes less reliable, and believe it or not, our brains literally begin to shrink. They say those things are a normal part of the aging process, but that doesn't mean we don't have a say in how it all goes down. There are definitely many things we can do that can reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline, slow its progression, and help keep our minds sharp as we enter into our golden years.

What is Cognitive Decline?

Cognitive decline can range from mild to severe and generally affects a person's everyday life in some form or another. If you have mild cognitive decline, you may be aware that your memory or mental abilities just aren't what they used to be. Your family and friends may also start to notice small changes in your behavior, but these changes are usually not enough to cause great concern. What does cause concern is when mild cognitive decline makes a turn for the worse and develops into dementia. It's important to know the red flags of cognitive decline so that the appropriate measures can be taken. Let's take a look at a few of them here.

  • Memory loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • Language and comprehension difficulties
  • Loss of concentration skills
  • Inability to recognize familiar people or places
  • Difficulty with planning and following through with tasks
  • Difficulty with making decisions
  • Vision problems
  • Changes in mood or behavior

Steps to Take

While there is currently no magic pill that can completely eliminate cognitive decline for everyone, there are some things that you can do to protect your brain's health as you age. Take a look.

  • Exercise - Exercise helps to lower blood pressure levels (high blood pressure is a risk factor for cognitive decline) and improves the function of the brain
  • Diet - Certain foods, such as berries, fish, nuts, and seeds have been linked to a healthy brain
  • Posture - Good posture encourages better circulation and blood flow to the brain
  • Sleep - Getting the recommended amount of sleep every night is vitally important for a strong memory
  • Music - Playing or listening to music has been shown to improve cognition and memory
  • Mental games - Puzzles and word games stimulate the brain and increase its mental capacity
  • Reading - Reading helps to build stronger connections within the brain
  • Writing - Writing helps to improve your memory and ability to communicate

Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Brain

It's never too late to make a difference, so start prioritizing the health of your brain today to reduce the risk and progression of cognitive decline as you continue to age. And if you have any questions on how or where to begin, you can always ask your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Acworth, Ga.

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