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Aging is a part of life. It happens to everybody, and it will come with changes to many parts of your body. As time goes on your brain will experience these changes which are completely natural and to be expected. This can show up as loss of memory or even Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. However, there are actions you can take to help mitigate these negative effects of the natural changes to your brain. Keep your brain healthier by utilizing the following suggestions.

Regular exercise

Continuing to exercise regularly, even when you start getting up there in age, is one of the most important things you can do to keep your brain healthy. Studies have revealed those who remain physically active have lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and experiencing declining mental functioning.

Many believe the positive effects of exercise on brain health stem from the increase in blood flow to the brain. Exercise can also reverse the reduction of brain connections, therefore reversing some of the negative effects of aging on the brain.

Adequate sleep

Making sure you have healthy sleep habits is another essential action you can take to ensure your brain retains optimal functioning. It is essential you sleep seven to eight hours uninterrupted every night. Uninterrupted sleep, as opposed to small one- or two-hour increments, allows your brain to effectively consolidate and store memories.

There is evidence suggesting that sleep can help the brain clear abnormal proteins helping increase the overall health of the brain.

Maintain a proper diet

What you eat has a considerable effect on the health of your brain. Medical professionals suggest a more plant-based diet to maintain brain health. Fish, whole grains, and healthy fats, such as olive oil are believed to help keep your brain functioning well. These components are common in a Mediterranean diet, compared to an American diet which tends to have more red meat and salt.

Keep mentally active

Just like a muscle, if you do not use your brain, it will become weaker. Therefore, make sure to keep your brain active. Reading, putting together a puzzle, crossword puzzles or learning a new language are just some of the activities you can do to keep exercising your brain. Also, try to avoid watching too much television because it is a passive activity providing little brain stimulation.

Have a social life

Depression and stress are common causes of memory loss; therefore, it is important to do what you can to minimize these mental states. Having social interactions with other people can significantly reduce depression and stress which results in avoiding problems with memory loss. Also, scientific studies have found a connection between solitary confinement and atrophy of the brain. Therefore, maintain a social life as best as you can, even during your retirement years.

Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.