Adapted from author Doug Armey, the following are keys to keeping your brain “lit” as you age.
- Flow. A sedentary life causes brain deterioration. Blood flow to the brain keeps oxygen in your brain cells which gives them life. Keep moving, walking and get some exercise.
- Energize. Junk food clogs your arteries and lowers energy, causing a sedentary lifestyle. Healthy food gives energy to your body and brain. Refuel and brighten the lights.
- Recharge. Lack of enough sleep causes deterioration of the brain. Your brain needs downtime to recharge. Give it enough recharging and keep the lights burning bright.
- Relax. Constant high stress has damaging effects on the brain and can lead to destructive habits which add further damage. Learn to control stress and let the lights shine.
- Engage. Like muscles your brain needs exercise. Too often people, after retirement, retire their brains also so they atrophy. Stay engaged, exercise your brain with reading, puzzles and other challenges to keep the lights going on strong.
- Love. When people grow isolated their brains lack stimulation and they grow dull. Stay connected with family and friends to brighten the lights.
- Adventure. Many older people lose their zest for new adventures. You don’t need to climb Everest just break out of dull routines. Any venture out to new places turns up the lights.
- Purpose. People can lose interest in life after they have retired, feeling they have no purpose. Look for opportunities to volunteer. Helping others keeps the lights flaming.