Maintaining Your Brain

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Although we have yet to discover the fountain of youth, there are many ways individuals can increase their life expectancy.

Important factors that contribute to healthy aging:

  • Stay away from smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Maintain a high level of physical activity through exercise. Exercise facilitates the maintenance of muscle flexibility, strength and mood.
  • Routine medical care is also essential in maintaining good health.
  • Always keep in mind that excellent cardiovascular health is very important. What's good for the heart is good for the brain!
  • Extensive social support networks provide a good mechanism for sharing the aging process with other people who are experiencing the same challenges and joys of entering into the latter years of life.
  • Keep doing the activities that challenge you and you enjoy for as long as possible. Gardening, playing bridge, walking, reading or other activities that are complicated enough to involve your mind but don't add stress to your life are examples of such activities.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Plan your meals around your vegetables and then fill in with other foods. Otherwise, as a general plan, eat a variety of foods as close to their natural state as possible.

While it is important to remain vigilant about maintaining good health, it is equally important to acknowledge that there are individual differences during the aging process. You should discuss any concerns you may have with a health care professional.