The process of aging is often met with grumbles, but it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Dr. Jessica Coleman, vice president of medical affairs at Menorah Park, offers tips for staying sharp.
1. Exercise your body. Physical activity has been proven to improve the health of the body and mind. Exercise decreases the risk and severity of many common health conditions, including cardiac disease and diabetes. Physical exercise also has been shown to prevent and slow down the progression of dementia.
2. Stimulate your mind. Mental activity is just as important as physical activity to your overall health. Exercising the brain leads to improved memory recovery and storage. Don’t get stuck on crosswords and Sudoku — building new friendships and learning new skills are just as, if not more, effective.
3. Be mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Limit alcohol intake, eat a plant-based diet and don’t smoke.
4. Start with small changes. The key is to make lifestyle changes. Redefine this phrase as “small, sustainable changes.” Drastic diets and exercise regimens rarely lead to long-term success because they are not sustainable. Change your life in small ways that can have a big impact on your health. For example, take the stairs, park farther away or replace soda with water.