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September 22, 2023

As we age, the portions of the brain responsible for learning and complex thinking ability shrink. Blood flow to the brain can decrease while neurons in the brain may not communicate as effectively as they once did. It’s a natural part of the aging process, but one you can help to slow down by following a few simple tips. Here are 5 ways to prevent cognitive decline:

1. Stay on Top of Your Physical Health

Believe it or not, cognitive health and physical health are often intertwined! Make sure to get recommended health screenings and stay on top of managing any health conditions you may have to help prevent cognitive decline. Talk to your health care provider about the medicines you're on and how they could be impacting your memory, sleep or brain function. Limit your use of alcohol and if you’re currently a smoker, work towards trying to stop. Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep every night can provide incredible benefits for cognitive function.

2. Eat Healthy Foods

healthy foods

Recent studies have shown that people who eat a nutritious and balanced diet may be less likely to develop dementia or other forms of cognitive decline. Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds, berries, leafy greens, beans and eggs are all considered to be “brain-boosting foods” as they are commonly associated with overall brain health. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish while limiting your consumption of sugar, salt and solid fats.

3. Be Social

Those who don’t socialize may be at higher risk of developing dementia or experience cognitive decline according to multiple studies. Connecting with others through social activities or community programs can be incredibly beneficial and help to prevent cognitive decline. When we interact with others we tend to feel less isolated and more in touch with the world that surrounds us. Folks who engage in meaningful activities with others tend to live longer, experience improvements in mood and have a sense of purpose.

4. Stay Physically Active

seniors doing exercise workout

Regular exercise is beneficial for the brain in a number of ways. Being physically active can help you improve and retain strength, give you more energy, improve mood or reduce depression and even prevent heart disease, diabetes and more. Experts recommend aiming for 150 minutes of exercise per week. Exercise can be as simple as taking the dog for a walk through the neighborhood a few times a week or you can search for fitness programs to join.

5. Manage Stress

Stress is another normal part of life, but over time, it can change the brain, affect memory and increase your risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. You can manage your stress in a number of different ways, which can help to prevent cognitive decline. Exercising regularly can help to build an improved sense of well-being and value. Obtain a journal and start writing down your thoughts to help let go of your worries. Simply trying to stay positive can help you let go of things you can’t control and feel a sense of gratitude.

These ways to help prevent cognitive decline can help give your brain a boost. Freedom Functional Medicine is always here to help with any health concerns you may have! Learn more about Freedom Functional Medicine and how we can help you in a number of ways!

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