Aging doesn’t have to be dreaded. Dr. Payam Toobian is a neurologist who spent years studying at researching at the Downstate Medical Center, Cornell Medical Center, New England Medical Center, and more. He recently discussed ways to maintain cognitive health while aging.
“A major fear among the elderly is to lose their cognition,” Payam Toobian said. “However, many aren’t doing what they can to keep their brains sharp. I’ve included several easy tasks to maintain mental sharpness as individuals get older.”
Stay Physically Healthy
A person’s physical health greatly impacts their mental health. Dr. Toobian expressed the importance of controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels to maintain cardiovascular health. Healthy cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels directly correlate with superior cognitive health. Additionally, healthy weight was linked to better cognition, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dr. Payam Toobian added that refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol was also associated with superior cognition. These harmful activities put people at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and other cognitive ailments.
Neurologists like Dr. Toobian explain that eating right and exercising often can preserve cognitive function. Foods rich in B Vitamins, Vitamin E, and Omega-3 fatty acids were proven to have positive effects on cognition as people age. Nutritionists emphasize the importance of consuming green leafy vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits, and whole grains.
Doctors also emphasize the importance of regular physical activity. Exercising improves heart health and maintains proper blood flow to the brain. An active lifestyle also typically means more social interaction and more brain exercise, which can offset dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Consider Brain Games
Many people view smartphones as harmful to society, but they can be used to a person’s advantage while preserving their cognition. Smartphones offer easy access to games that can help improve cognition, like memory games, speed exercises, and games with friends. Playing online games with others can also boost social interaction, which was linked to superior cognitive function. Of course, playing games in-person with others, such as Scrabble, Monopoly, or even bingo, adds an additional social benefit.
Dr. Payam Toobian and Cognitive Function
Dr. Toobian explained additional ways to preserve cognitive function as people age, such as staying sexually active, getting recommended health screenings, and sleeping an adequate amount each night. Physical health directly impacts mental health, and that means people who remain physically active as they age generally enjoy superior cognitive health. Studies show that people who often engage in productive and meaningful activities tend to have a superior mood, longer life, and a greater sense of purpose.