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Tips On Improving Your Brain Health

Cognitive decline is something that happens to almost everyone as they age.  It is a result of a combination of lifestyle habits, genetic factors, trauma, medication side effects, and illness such as Alzheimer’s disease. Studies predict that by 2050, the likelihood of developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Vascular Dementia, will increase by 45%.  

Cognitive decline is when an individual experiences difficulty with language, remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life.  Common signs are memory loss, confusion, difficulty carrying out tasks, loss of short-term or long-term memory, and impaired judgement.  Typically, cognitive function improves over the first 18 years of life, peaks during the next few years, and then begins to deteriorate.  Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging, however, research has shown that simple lifestyle changes might delay the start of cognitive decline or slow its progression.  Here are a few things that can help with brain health:

Take Care of Your Physical Health

  • Get recommended health screenings
  • Manage chronic health problems
  • Reduce risk of brain injuries due to falls
  • Get enough sleep, generally 7-9 hours each night

Be Physically Active

  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day such as walking
  • Join an exercise group class
  • Meditate (free guided meditation)

Eat a Healthy Diet

Keep an Active Mind

  • Learn a new hobby such as crocheting, reading, or coloring
  • Complete word searches or sudoku
  • Engage with Others
    • Play Memory Circle – sit in a circle with other individuals and take turns sharing a story from your childhood.  Once all participants have shared, go around the circle recalling a childhood memory that was shared by another group member
    • Call and/or visit loved ones via phone or virtual source such as FaceTime or Skype

Cognitive decline is inevitable, however, by taking proactive steps the brain can remain healthy and may reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases.  

Healthy Hive

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