Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
1 Aug 2022
2:20 pm

Daily hacks: Three habits to stay sharp as you get older

Citizen Reporter

According to a report, certain activities and habits can keep your mind sharp during the ageing process.

Picture: iStock

Brain health has become quite an important issue over the years due to the increasing concerns of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia amongst the wider population. 

In September 2021, a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), dementia – caused by a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s or stroke, affects more than 55 million people in what has become a “global public health concern”.

That figure is set to rise to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050 as the population grows older.

According to a TIME report, certain activities and habits can keep your mind sharp during the ageing process. 

Sarah Lenz Lock, AARP’s senior vice president and executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health, said despite the stereotypes, “cognitive decline is not inevitable as you age, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can significantly reduce your risks for dementia later on in life”.

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Three brain health habits to stay sharp as you get older: 

  1. Socialising: According to the research keeping and building a strong social circle that satisfies your needs does make everyday life easier. This can be done by keeping up with your neighbours, volunteering and doing community work.
  2. Relaxing: Take some time off to do things that would relieve your stress. Studies have shown that meditation, yoga, listening to music and getting enough sleep are all important aspects to prevent cognitive decline. 
  3. Stay active: Exercise helps prevent brain inflammation and increases the production of a protein key for growing and maintaining neurons. Cycling increases the production of new brain cells and neurotransmitters – chemical messengers. This leads to a healthier and faster functioning brain.

The other brain habits include eating a healthy diet and creating a sense of purpose.

Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele