Why It’s Important to Stay Mentally Active as You Age

January 5th, 2016 by John Wilson

Education can be used in assisted living.

Learning is an important part of assisted living.

We all know lack of physical exercise can cause our muscles to atrophy. However, did you know as a normal part of aging, our brains can also atrophy due to a lack of mental stimulation? The good news is brain atrophy can be reduced by exercises for both the brain and the body. In fact, studies show keeping the brain active increases its vitality, builds reserves of brain cells and connections and even generates new brain cells.

Participants in a small 14-day study reported an improvement in their memory when they followed a plan that included memory training, a healthy diet, physical exercise and stress reduction. Other studies have proven people who enjoy physical activities and intellectual stimulation are less likely to develop dementia. Assisted living in Oklahoma City provides a lifestyle that promotes physical and mental activity to keep seniors healthy.

Memory Training

Reading, writing, arithmetic and attending lectures may sound like going back to school, but it’s been proven no matter what the age, keeping the brain stimulated is important for staying mentally active. Senior centers and community colleges offer interesting and educational classes for all ages, as well as provide social contact. Most affordable assisted living facilities in the Oklahoma City area encourage their seniors to play crossword puzzles, bridge and other card games to stay mentally sharp.

Healthy Diet

Good sources of brain enhancing food include nuts, green leafy vegetables and oily fish, as well as an overall diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. A University of Oxford study showed brain volume loss is directly related to low vitamin B-12 levels. You can prevent or even reverse this condition by maintaining an adequate level of vitamin B-12.

Senior assisted living encourages reading.

Reading is an important activity in senior assisted living.

Exercise

Physical activity is absolutely vital for healthy brain function. It increases your heart rate, which improves circulation and blood flow to the brain. Many studies have shown physical exercise also helps to alleviate depression in people of all ages. Activity directors at senior assisted living in OKC are usually required to provide at least one hour a day of physical activity for their residents. 

Stress Reduction

People of advancing age are more likely to experience the loss of friends and loved ones. These and other stress-inducing life events can contribute to memory problems associated with poor concentration and depression. Engaging in creative activities, such as gardening, drawing, painting, sculpting and listening to music, raises serotonin levels and helps to alleviate the stressors of everyday living.

Gradually adding these lifestyle changes and activities to your daily routine will keep you and your loved ones mentally active throughout your life and especially in your senior years!

The Village at Oakwood is an affordable assisted living facility in the Oklahoma City area. We offer many types of physical exercise to promote a healthy lifestyle for our seniors. To learn more, contact us to schedule an interview or a tour.

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