We’ve all heard that wisdom accompanies age, but let’s not forget that so does loss of hearing and quite likely cognitive decline as well. Studies show that younger generations do actually value the wisdom of older generations – in fact, 90% of younger people said they considered older people as wise and having good advice. But, this is isn’t the only thing we should be looking to our elders for! We should be learning about aging from them and especially learning to age well, making retirement a more enjoyable time of life.
It was found through a study conducted by Health.com that brainpower could actually improve with age. The term used for being able to use the knowledge and expertise and skillset that you have obtained over your lifetime is crystallized intelligence. This crystallized intelligence reaches its peak between the ages of 65 and 75. This describes how older people are better at piecing together information by taking shortcuts through life experiences, while younger generations process things quickly but differently.
Active aging is about maximizing the use of brain cells as you age, and it is important to consider how this can be done. Many associated issues like hearing loss have been linked to cognitive decline, so active aging could effectively improve many aspects of elderly life. Of course, there is a space for a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating, which has a range of benefits for good aging. Here are five tips on how you can boost your brainpower and recall and keep your memory sharp.
Instead of waiting until you are already old to make a difference in your cognitive health, why not instead take up good habits and practices now, which will carry you through active aging better than waiting until it is quite late. This step involves listening to classical music in order to enhance memory and strengthen the neurology that assists it. Becoming more engrossed in scents is another unique but effective way to keep your mind sharp. It was found and revealed at the 2013 British Psychological Society that scent actually assisted people in completing tasks. Laughter is yet another effective tool to reduce cortisol levels and increase performance on memory tests. Lowering stress is suggested to improve mental function and memory. Amazingly and interestingly, people who learned Chinese for six weeks displayed improved neural networks than those who did not! So take up Chinese lessons, listen to some Bach and Mozart and go shopping for some essential oils! It’s all better for you and active aging!
Getting more quality sleep improves brain function as a whole, and especially sleep of high quality during your 30s, 40s, and 50s can lead to improved mental function. The sleep during these years of life has scientifically been proven to be deeper and more repairing and restorative than the sleep you obtain as you age. The deeper sleep helps your brain cleanse itself of proteins related to Alzheimer’s and to inflammation. Engaging in a craft has also proven to be highly effective in improving memory, especially for those in their 40s. Quite interesting is that it was discovered that decreased fitness levels during one’s 40s actually had the potential to reduce the volume of the brain twenty years later! One more lifestyle change that is very important is to quit the TV. For every additional hour of TV watched by people between ages 40 and 60, it was found that their risk of Alzheimer’s increased by 1.3%!
There is no time like the present. Stop postponing your health and well-being for the future. Don’t tell yourself that you will take up exercise when you quit your job, that you will only start sleeping earlier once you retire, or maybe you keep saying that you will live your life at some future date. Your only certainty is the very present, this moment, and no more. Make up your mind to change now, not later. Embrace life and age actively so that you can be more engaged in the lives of those you love and also enjoy a more fulfilling life of your own as you age! Nobody wants to be tied down by cognitive decline or physical aches, pains, or disabilities. Live well, and do it now, because the older and retired you will thank you for it!