If you are approaching retirement, or are already retired, you might be wondering how you will keep your thinking skills sharp. The good news is that there are several activities that will help you stay ahead of the brain game. When it comes to brain power, if you don’t use it you lose it. The following are some tips for a healthy brain at any age.
Eat Smart to Think Smart
Clogged arteries reduce blood flow and that means less oxygen to the brain. When the brain is low on oxygen, you may have problems thinking clearly. Consuming foods that are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol keeps blood vessels open, allowing oxygen-rich blood flow to your brain. Foods high in omega-3s like nuts and fish, as well as colorful, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables provide nourishment for a healthy brain.
Give Your Brain a Workout
Like the rest of your body, your brain benefits from exercise. Try reciting the alphabet backwards. Crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, and word searches are also excellent workouts for your brain.
Hydrate your Brain
Did you know that dehydration can make you feel disoriented and light-headed? Your brain needs adequate fluids to function, and your brain may be desperately in need of fluids even when you don’t feel thirsty. Try to get six to eight (8-ounce) cups of fluid each day. Healthy drinks like water and low-fat milk are good choices. If you don’t enjoy plain water, add a splash of fruit juice to your water. You can also get healthy fluids from fruits, vegetables, and soups.
Challenge Your Brain
Just for fun, if you are right-handed, try writing with your left hand or use your left hand to operate your computer mouse. Activities that cause you to concentrate more may help you grow new brain cells.
Go for a Brisk Walk
People often overlook the benefits of walking, but walking is yet another way to get your brain in gear. Your brain controls your muscles and when you walk, your whole body gets a workout. We have already seen how oxygen can help the brain. Walking is an aerobic exercise that helps deliver more oxygen to the brain.
Engage in Healthy Debates
Your brain was made for thinking. Being quick-witted and thinking on your feet can keep your brain ready for what comes your way. Pick a side and make your case for what you believe. You might be surprised at how your debating skills will improve.