We all care about keeping our brains healthy as we age. Unfortunately, with so much conflicting information, it’s difficult to know where to start. It’s even challenging to know what is “normal” when it comes to brain health.

Personally, I’m always a little relieved when I see someone in their thirties or younger do something scatterbrained, like backing out of the garage into a car parked in the driveway, or putting dishwasher soap in the refrigerator while talking on the phone.

It reminds me that, even if I sometimes spend 5-minutes looking for the sunglasses that are already on my head, I’m okay.

Having a Healthy Brain is So Important

I don’t have to sound the alarm for the onset of Alzheimer’s every time I forget an appointment or misplace the cat. (Well, maybe that last one is a little iffy).

If, like me, you want to keep your brain in good shape, here’s some good news… According to “In Full Bloom: A Brain Education Guide for Successful Aging,” a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine shows that the more stimulating and intellectually challenging we make our lives, the better are our odds of keeping our aging brains vital, sharp, and agile.”

Here are a few tricks that I have found to help keep my brain healthy. Please add your own ideas in the comments section below.

Learn a New Language

With all of the services available on the Internet today, learning a second language has never been easier. While some of the services cost money (for example, Rosetta Stone) there are a great number of free sites as well. One of my favorite free services for learning a new language is italki.com. There service is great for finding other people to talk with across the world and many of their options don’t cost a penny.

According to a recent study, learning a second language might even help you to recover from a stroke. So, what are you waiting for? Dust off your old text books or embrace one of the new language learning websites. Your brain will thank you!

Exercise Regularly

I recently read a book called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. In Spark, John Ratey discusses the strong connection between the health of our bodies and the fitness of our minds.

The good news is that you don’t have to hit the gym five times a week to see very real benefits to your health. Sometimes, it’s the small changes that count. Add a short walk to your daily routine. Take up yoga. Or, just get  out into your garden more often. No matter how you do it, just get moving!

If you are looking for an easy way to get started with yoga, check out our gentle yoga and chair yoga DVDs. They were designed just for women like us.

Socialize and Have Fun

Humans are social creatures. We thrive in an environment in which we have plenty of interaction with other people. Many people already understand the connection between having strong social ties and being happy. However, not everyone knows that social interaction is essential for the smooth functioning of our brains.

So, if you want to maintain a healthy brain, look for plenty of opportunities to meet other people. Join groups who share your interests, consider tutoring at a local school, or take up a new hobby. You’re an amazing person. So, get out there and meet the world!

Don’t know where to start? Here is some advice from 50 amazing women in our community about how to make friends as an adult.

Play Games

Studies have shown that playing games can help to maintain the health of your brain as you age. One free solution is to take up crossword puzzles or Sudoku.

If you are looking for something a bit more advanced, there are several online services that offer games that will get your fingers tapping and your brain buzzing. One of our favorite services is Lumosity.com. They were one of the first sites to offer online brain games and they claim to have 35-million users.

Slow Down and Appreciate the Silence

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to stop and smell the roses can be a challenge. Meditation and yoga have been used be millions to find peace in a chaotic environment. But, even taking a few minutes to quietly and think can help to keep your mind balanced.

If you haven’t tried meditation before, take a few minutes to watch my interview with Susan Piver. In it, we discuss the many benefits of meditation for older women.

Do Not Retire From Life

One of the benefits of getting older is that you finally have the option to decide how to spend your time. Whether you decide to retire it is important to maintain an active life in your 60’s and beyond. This doesn’t mean that you need to work full time. The good news is that there are plenty of part-time job options to keep you busy. Here are 6 unusual ways that we found to to make money after sixty.

What’s your take on this? What other steps have you taken to keep your mind healthy? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

LEARN MORE

Learn more about brain health and how to improve your memory in my interview with Brain Rules author, Dr. Medina.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Consult a doctor before doing anything described in this article.

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