Although it is the natural order of things to slow down later in life, there are steps you can take to avoid mental decline in late adulthood. Beyond the anti-aging creams, vitamins and supplements, exercise and mind training programs for older adults, how do you get an early start to preventing serious mental decline in late adulthood? The process begins when you are still relatively young. It comes as no surprise that as life expectancy continues to rise in many areas of the world, the anti-aging industry is booming. Forever young, I look young, I feel young and all the other catch phrases fill the media waves.
All of us, as we get older, our brains shrink to different extents, usually beginning in early middle age. The time period for the start of the shrinkage, the rate and rapidity of the shrinkage varies among individuals. As the brain gradually shrinks and its volume decreases, a series of events occur which lead to reduction of brain circuitry. This usually leads to memory loss, forgetfulness, impaired co-ordination and mobility and sometimes speech impairment. Despite this inevitable natural process of aging, there are steps you can take as a young adult and going into middle age to maintain good, and even great brain function. These actions will help you avoid mental decline in late adulthood and keep your mind sharp into old age.
As a young adult, avoid frequent alcohol intake, excess of which is harmful to the liver and the brain. Avoid smoking cigarettes because it is bad for the lungs and the heart. Avoid illicit drugs. This is extremely important; Remember: INHALING, INJECTING OR CONSUMING ILLICIT DRUGS IS NOT COOL. There are dire irreversible negative consequences and huge price to pay for engaging in this unbecoming behavior. Broadly speaking, the negative sequelae can be classified into short-term and long -term effects. The short term negative effects include headache, impaired coordination, slurred speech, fast and irregular heart beat; impairment of consciousness which can lead to drowsiness or stupor; difficulty breathing and suffocation due to lack of oxygen and accumulation of the drug or its bye product in the lungs and in the blood. The long term negative effects include memory loss, muscle weakness, impaired coordination, damage to vital organs like the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart and the brain, serious disruptions of social relationships including inability to fulfill one’s obligations to the family.
Focus on healthy eating habits, exercise and adequate sleep are important steps you can take to avoid mental decline in late adulthood. Watch what you eat, watch your weight. Please make sure your food is rich in fruits and vegetables. Fish is good for you, especially those that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These include mackerel, trout-lake, salmon and tuna. Avoid foods heavy in saturated fats. Exercise regularly, at least three times a week, including walking and running or jogging, about fifty minutes each time. Get a good night’s sleep. Most experts recommend six to eight hours of sleep.
Keep learning new things. It could be gardening, painting, a new language, yoga, meditation, or a musical instrument. You would be handsomely rewarded for all these efforts and for your self discipline later in life. Not only will you have a much greater chance of being physically healthy, you are ahead of the pack in being able to slow down mental rust. You will retain your mental sharpness even in old age. That will give you the opportunity to fully participate and focus on those things that matter to you, apart from your family, in your “golden years”. These may include mentoring the young, volunteering, several aspects of spirituality and other interests you could not pursue earlier in life because of career and family commitments.
Remember, it is never too late to incorporate all these tips and steps you can take to avoid mental decline in late adulthood into your lifestyle. So, let’s go. Keep moving, fast walk, jog or run. Take action, be consistent. There will be setbacks, but push through them. Remember, always check with your doctor, follow his or her instructions and persevere. Avoidance of mental rust in old age is extremely beneficial not only for you and your family, but for your community.
The materials obtained via the links in this article can enhance your effort to avoid both physical and mental rust as you get older. The ads on the right side of this page deal with physical and mental fitness, exercise equipments and tools, healthy diets, books on healthy living, wellness and wellbeing. Please feel free to check them out. Found this post helpful? Please leave your comments and suggestions.