For those of us who are getting older—or who might be looking after a loved on who it—it's important to remember that a healthy mind is an integral part of a fulfilling lifestyle. There are several key steps we can take to keep our brains in top condition throughout our lives:
Get active and stay active. Physical exercise promotes good blood flow in the brain, and research shows it may stimulate production of new brain cells. Both of these may help stave off cognitive decline.
Eat a healthy diet. The same dietary problems that contribute to cholesterol-clogged arteries in the heart can raise the risk of problems such as stroke. Most experts recommend a diet that's rich in antioxidants and that helps maintain a healthy weight.
Stay socially connected. Social engagement reduces stress and also appears to provide a protective effect against dementia. Social support can be found in many places, including church, work, clubs, and by volunteering.
Exercise your brain. Reading, writing, doing puzzles, playing memory games, learning an instrument, learning a language, enrolling in a course at a local community college—these are all great ways to keep your mind active. Such mental activity appears to prevent the loss of brain cells and may even spur formation of new ones.
Each of these points requires an active investment, but the return for you and your family will be well worth it.
ref: Focus on the Family.