Brain Fitness and Aging

For older adults concerned that their cognitive abilities may fade as they age, there is some good news. Exciting findings reveal that that engaging in a deliberate “brain fitness” program can yield significant benefits- just like a daily exercise regimen. In fact, the growing body of research shows that certain activities can help us retain or improve memorization, attention and overall brain function.

Your amazing brain

For a long time, it was believed that as we aged, connections in the brain became set. Now, research has revealed much about brain plasticity-the flexibility that enables a person to improve brain functioning. In fact, our minds retain the ability to change and grow throughout our lives. New experiences, new challenges and mental exercises can strengthen and enhance cognitive functions over time. We have all heard the phrase “use it or lose it.” Now, the emerging field of brain fitness is helping older adults develop specific programs that help them maintain or improve their brain’s performance.

Brain fitness and your lifestyle

There are several strategies for engaging in the mental stimulation that help retain or improve cognitive ability and memory. Some examples within Lutheran SeniorLife’s residential communities include resident led book clubs, group lectures and scrabble tournaments.

Keys to remember

While certain activities are vital to brain function, there are other keys to brain fitness. A panel of experts convened by the American Society on Aging noted that a single activity, no matter how challenging, is not sufficient brain health. Variety is important – and so are novelty and socialization. New experiences and interaction with others are valuable keys to brain fitness. Finally, good nutrition, ample sleep and regular physical exercise are important to keeping your brain healthy.

One last thought: Why not get started today? Moving to one of Lutheran SeniorLife’s residential living communities will not only maximize your cognitive skills – but foster a more rewarding and engaging lifestyle.