Keys to Staying Sharp

Friends volunteering together to clean up the neighborhood.

If you spend time on social media, you are familiar with the ongoing ads about aging, sleeplessness, weight gain, and brain fog. Women ages 30 and older are targets for these ads with the promise of a quick fix to help you get back into shape, think more clearly, and gain energy to accomplish all your to-dos. Research has shown that healthy habits optimize brain function, keeping us sharp and on our game. Forget the ads, here’s a list of our favorite ways to stay sharp.

Good nutrition: A healthy diet with a balance of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, is important for optimal brain function. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, can help promote brain health.

Regular exercise: Regular physical activity can improve cognitive function and protect against cognitive decline. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can help nourish brain cells and promote the growth of new ones.

Adequate sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for optimal brain function. During sleep, the brain consolidates memories and processes information, which is important for learning and problem-solving. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, creating a bedtime routine that includes no-screen time before bed might help.

Stress management: Chronic stress can negatively impact brain function. Learning to manage stress through techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or exercise can help improve brain function and overall health.

Intellectual stimulation: Challenging your brain with new and complex tasks can help improve cognitive function and promote the growth of new brain cells. Activities such as reading, puzzles, or learning a new skill can help keep the brain active and healthy.

Social engagement: Social interaction can have a positive impact on brain function. Spending time with your friends and family, participating in group activities, and volunteering can help keep your brain active and promote a sense of belonging. Consider joining a Royal Neighbors of America Community Chapter in your neighborhood or start your own.

Volunteerism: Helping others can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. This can lead to increased happiness and a sense of fulfillment. Studies have shown that volunteering can improve cognitive function, including memory and attention, and promote positive mental health1. Consider joining the RoyalConnect monthly volunteer challenge to experience the personal benefits of giving to others.

Overall, leading a healthy lifestyle that incorporates good nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, stress management, intellectual stimulation, social engagement, and volunteerism is key to optimal brain function.  As a member, you have access to unique programs that help you improve your health and serve your community. Learn more today!