Most of us tend to think that the natural process of getting older includes some kind of memory loss, or a reduction in overall brain function. It makes sense, after all - the rest of your body gets tired, why shouldn’t the brain? But it’s not always necessarily true, and not the right kind of stereotype to be giving the elderly. Granted, recent studies have shown that over half of seniors 85 years of age and older suffer from some form of dementia, but the good news is that this number can decrease. All it takes is the right resources, and the right kind of time spent for the elderly in our society.
The biggest component to boosting brain power for the elderly? Exercise. There are so many senior citizens that live well into their 90s, and beyond, with little to no signs of memory loss or dementia, and most of them are active for their age. A study done by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology recently claimed that just 45 minutes of moderate exercise, three times a week, can help increase the brainpower of adults up to 3.5%. Obviously, aerobic exercise has plenty of other benefits for the body, so no matter what age you may be, the benefits of staying active never fade.
Of course, mental stimulation, or ‘exercising’ is also incredibly important. Everything from puzzles and word games, to trying to learn something new can be a great way to keep the mind sharp, and active.
While exercising both the mind and body are incredibly important resources when it comes to boosting brain power and staying mentally fit as we age, there is something even simpler that can actually make a difference, as well: Fresh air.
It almost seems too simple, but being outside and actually seeing and experiencing aspects of nature can help to ensure that we don’t forget our senses. From knowing the difference between hot and cold, to remembering the vivid colors of a garden, and beyond, being outside is a sensory buffet for the elderly (and anyone, really!) when it comes to boosting brain power and memory skills, because it allows them to actually be a part of it, and experience it for themselves to refer back to later. Plus, everyone needs Vitamin D in order to be healthy, and too many elderly people in our society go without it far too often because they don’t step outside as often as they should.
In reality, it can be the most simplistic things that help us all to overcome, and beat back the illnesses and disorders that can affect us the most as we age. It’s a great idea to start exercising and spending more time outside at any age, but when it comes to senior citizens, it’s never too late to get started!