By John Parks
Research has shown that seniors who were cognitively active were 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia than those who were not. This is a statistic that may help motivate many older adults to consider taking some time to sharpen their own cognitive skills. Retirement years are a time to relax and enjoy the rewards of a lifetime of work and challenges but seniors need to continue to challenge their minds for optimal mental acuity. These suggestions are simple ways to stay mentally active.
Enroll in a class or college course
Many community colleges offer continuing education or educational enrichment courses that can teach you something new. Whether you have an interest in computers or genealogy, there is probably a class offered that can help you explore this subject. Many of these courses are offered at a discount for seniors.
Express your creativity
Do you enjoy drawing, painting, singing, making jewelry, or writing poetry? These are just a few of the ways we can tap into our imagination. All of these ways of expressing creativity encourage the mind to see the world in new ways and nurture problem solving skills. Sophia Loren once said, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Play Video Games
A recent study found that seniors were able to perform mentally as well as they did in their thirties after spending only 40 hours with brain training software. The popular video game company, Nintendo, offers a series of “Brain Age” games that provide mental exercises. These games are available for a portable gaming system called the Nintendo DS.
Crossword Puzzles and Scrabble
The next time you’re waiting at an appointment, consider working on a crossword puzzle. These challenging brainteasers stimulate problem-solving skills. The practice of actively searching for words may help reduce tip-of-the-tongue experiences where particular words can’t quite be recalled. The board game Scrabble also offers this type of mental exercise.
There are many studies that indicate that an active social life may delay memory loss among older adults. Participation in sports leagues, card clubs, and church are all ways to widen your social circle. Volunteer work is also a great way to interact with people while improving your community and the world.
There is a correlation between physical and cognitive health. Exercise is central to memory reinforcement at all ages. Explore your community to find exercise groups especially for seniors or design your own personal fitness plan with the help of your primary care physician.
Learn a New Language
If you’re really up for a challenge, consider learning to speak in a foreign tongue. Perhaps you know a little German, Spanish, or Polish from hearing it from your parents or grandparents. Take some time to brush up on the language so you can preserve your heritage and perhaps pass it on to new generations in your family. Plan a trip abroad as a reward to yourself if you can master a new language. The process of learning a new language is very cognitively challenging for many but it can be rewarding and a lot of fun.
For more information on seniors, visit http://seniormicroblog.com and http://seniorsmicroblog.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?7-Ways-to-Improve-Memory&id=2160952