Here's an interesting article and video about how to keep your brain healthy as you age.
- Exercise -- "What's good for the heart is good for the brain."
- Sleep -- "Your brain cleans itself out during sleep. If you don't get seven or eight hours of sleep a night you might as well be smoking cigarettes or sitting on the couch eating two bags of potato chips a night -- it's the same thing."
- Diet -- "The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be most effective at reducing risk."
- Keep moving -- "Not just physically but socially and intellectually."
- Managing stress -- "Meditation and stress-relieving activities are very beneficial."
This is an issue as we all get older (of course) and retirement itself poses some issues to overcome. For instance, it's often easy to totally down-shift in retirement (which is great for stress management but might not be for the other suggestions.)
Anyway, here's how I handle each of these in retirement:
- Exercise six times a week -- three cardio and three weights. I also get in at least 7,000 steps per day, even in winter, and closer to 15,000 per day in summer. Throw in some swimming and hiking here and there and I'm fairly active.
- Have never slept better since I retired. I think it goes along with less stress.
- I tend to eat low carb as I want to lose a bit of weight and encourage muscle growth. But I've eliminated sugar and soda and working on caffeine.
- I continue to read and blogging itself keeps me learning (the tech side of things can be a real pain and of course writing is always a unique, creative process). I also do chess puzzles but not sure that qualifies given his guidelines.
- Stress is low since I stopped working. There's a different kind of stress -- the "yes I have a gazillion dollars but I don't have a job can I make it?" sort of stress that's a bit subtle but always around.
So, that's how I am trying to keep my brain healthy. How about you?