It’s no secret, as we age, we begin to lose brain power. You may not realize it, but in some regards you could be adding to that loss.
Here are six habits that can contribute to loss of brain power:
You aren’t taking steps to save your mind
Quite literally, not taking steps. Walking, and other forms of physical activity helps to keep your brain in good working order. Physical activity keeps the blood flowing through your body, thereby increasing the amount of oxygen your brain gets. When our cells, and therefore our brain, is receiving a healthy dose of oxygen, we think more clearly, sleep better, work smarter and overall feel more energetic and alive.
Find an activity that suits your lifestyle and begin moving. It doesn’t have to be strenuous or long, just begin to get moving.
You aren’t protecting your hearing
Hearing loss is associated with memory loss. It’s possible that the strain and the struggle to hear can overburden the brain. It can also lead to social isolation, and when you don’t have interaction with others, then it’s possible to begin to lose brain power.
Turn down the radio or the TV. If you have hearing loss, consider a set of hearing aids that will help you stay involved in the conversations going on around you.
Too much alcohol
While a glass or two of wine or enjoying a beer or cocktail will not necessarily have a negative impact on your brain power, overindulging does. Alcohol dulls the senses, and interestingly, one study shows that heavy drinking leads to a decrease in the production of nerve cells in the brain’s hippocampus – the region involved in certain types of learning – by almost 40%. In the long run, this could have an adverse effect on learning and memory.
If you can recognize you are drinking too much, you are in the driver’s seat. Either stop all together or cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume. You’ll be glad you did.
You aren’t protecting the head
While we believe exercise, and any form you choose is good for you, if the activity you like can result in a head injury, protecting your head is vitally important. If you are a bicyclist, skier, mountain climber, or enjoy any other form of exercise where a blow to the head could happen, we urge you to wear a helmet.
The couch is your favorite place
We aren’t against resting, as a matter of fact, resting our bodies can be as beneficial as a full workout. What isn’t good is staying in a state of rest, especially in front of the TV. Watching TV for long periods of time causes our brains to slow down.
Set a timer, determine what shows you really enjoy, or perhaps get rid of the TV all together. No matter what you choose, you’ll be happy you aren’t watching TV as much anymore. You can use that time to exercise!
You’ve stopped training your brain
Our brains continually need to be stimulated. Perhaps you’ve put down books, or puzzles like crosswords, number puzzles, or other types that require thinking skills. By no longer doing those your brain isn’t learning anymore. It’s important to pick those back up and begin to put new information back in, thereby increasing your brain power.
Pick up a puzzle book of some sort, find a new author, or re-read a book you enjoyed. Anything to give your brain a boost will help it stay active and healthy.
Taking active steps to increase your brain power will help keep you active and healthy. While you are out and about, don’t forget to have your medical alert device with you. Our systems can go with you as you begin your new, healthy lifestyle either inside or out.