3 Simple Ways to Fight Cognitive Decline
By Stepy Kamei
The process of aging is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be as scary as it's sometimes made out to be. Many people worry about their cognitive health declining as they age. While this is an understandable fear, it's not something we're completely helpless about. There are ways in which you can take care of your brain health in the present moment, so your cognitive health remains strong going into the future. Here are three easy lifestyle habits to engage in now, in order to experience improved cognitive health for years to come.
Eat a Healthy Diet
This one might sound obvious, but for some people, it helps to know how exactly the food you eat powers your brain.
The typical American diet is, unfortunately, not as healthy as it could be. Many of us rely on processed and packaged foods for our meals. While these are certainly convenient and easy to prepare, the reality is that these foods hardly provide any nutritional value. Instead, they're often loaded with sugar, salt, and other additives which only provide empty calories. You can see how these foods simply wouldn't be beneficial for brain health.
Meanwhile, foods which are high in nutrients such as protein, zinc, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to increase brain health over time. These foods include dark leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, berries, and whole grains. Be sure to build a meal plan which contains plenty of fresh and nutrient-dense ingredients for the biggest benefits to your brain health.
The body and brain thrive on regular movement and exercise, so be sure to stay active every day! You can start by simply going for walks in the mornings before work, or the evenings before dinner. Over time, you should start adding more cardio and weight training type exercises into your weekly routine. Simply put, regular exercise helps keep the body and brain strong and stimulated as you age, leaving you less likely to experience cognitive decline as you move through life.
Make Sleep a Priority
Too many people brush off sleep as something unimportant in the grand scheme of things. In reality, a person's quality of sleep can make a huge difference in how they move through the world, both on a daily as well as a long-term basis.
For instance, consider how you moved through a day when you barely got any sleep the night before. Were you foggy-brained? Forgetful? More irritable than usual? These effects are often a direct result of poor sleep -- and if it can mess up just one day, imagine how damaging chronic poor sleeping habits can be on your cognitive health.
Now is the time to strengthen your sleeping habits. Always aim to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, and try to stick to the same sleep and wakefulness times as much as possible, including on your days off.
Many people benefit from implementing some sort of nighttime routine to help signal to their bodies that it's time to start winding down from the day. Practicing gentle yoga stretches, dimming the lights, lighting a candle, and brewing a cup of tea are just some little ways in which you can start preparing for sleep every evening.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Las Vegas, Nev.