I tend to focus on my physical health and how my body feels, as probably many of us tend to do. As I age though, I am super conscious of my mental alertness and have definitely noticed slight memory issues especially after having my twins (#mombrain is a real thing, am I right?)
Yes, crosswords and word games can keep your mind sharp, but follow these other tried-and-true ways to keep your head fog-free.
1. Eat for your brain. Sounds kinda gross, but your brain needs specific nutrients to keep it, well, running smoothly. We all know omega-3s are great for your brain; try plant-based sources like sustainably-farmed hemp protein powder or chia seeds. Supplements like this one is a great option, especially for those of us who avoid meats, eggs or other animal products. Plant-based proteins, nuts and unsaturated oils are great additions.
2. Fitness. Yay, my favorite! Exercise helps the whole bod, including your brain. Bonus points: try something new to switch it up and maybe even activate different parts of your brain. A dance class like Zumba or ballet is a great example of picking up and quickly memorizing patterns and combinations. Plus, exercise reduces mental stress, which is always good for brain health.
Fitness & Social time for double the brain benefits!
3. Be social. You've likely heard of how social connections help people live longer. The world's centenarian's all proclaim a healthy diet and social connections as contributing factors to longevity. This also helps your brain, as social ties are linked to lower risks of dementia and lower blood pressure. Apps like Bumble BFF and Hey! Vina are great ways for women to look for friends nearby. Even just regularly calling friends and family offers great benefits.
4. Improve your blood pressure & sugar. This helps lower your risk of dementia (high blood sugar can lead to diabetes, which has a higher risk for dementia) and cognitive decline. Eating right and staying fit will help both of these. Supplements like PGX help stabilize blood sugar and curb overeating.
5. Mental Stimulants. Puzzles, word games, math problems: it's all good. Every trip, airplane ride, waiting room experience, etc are great opportunities to forget screwing around on your phone and working those brains instead. Crosswords, word finders, and Sudoku are all great options too. I like this crossword book that's a good size and lasts forever.
Want more? Check out https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young for more great ways to keep your brain young!