Elderly Care Kuel Category Expert: Cynthia Perthuis
In my last meeting with you, we talked about the warning signs of dementia. I want to keep with the dementia theme and point out some ways to never get to those warning signs or at least keep them outside the door of your mind for as long as possible.
Let’s start with the music. Don’t you just love a little Miranda Lambert?
Smokin’ and drinkin’ on the weekend like we did back in the day
Smokin’ and drinkin’ got cha thinkin about the one that got away
So here’s to all those nights all we felt was life, smokin’ and drinkin’
4 Ways To Protect Your Brain So You Can Age Well:
There are four areas of your life that you can pay attention to that will protect your mind in a healthy way. We should all focus on Exercise, Diet, Cognitive Activity and Social Engagement every day to make sure our minds are at their peak as we age.
“Simply park a little further away or take the stairs”
If you could choose just one thing to focus on to maintain brain health, it would be exercise. Make sure you have at least 20 minutes of physical activity each and every day. You do not have to train for a marathon or play competitive tennis. Simply park a little further away or take the stairs. Walk the dog an extra block. Take up a new sport. Research shows that this exercise is good for your brain and your body.
It is never too early and never too late to start an exercise program. However, make sure you consult your physician and make sure you are wearing protective gear (bike helmet) if you are engaged in activities that might pose a little risk.
Not that Smokin’ and Drinkin’ should be in your diet but, if it is, rethink that diet! Alcohol and cigarette use has negative consequences for your brain. Now is not the time to start but the time to slow it down.
Adopt or continue a healthy diet. Investigate the Mediterranean Diet. Make sure you are incorporating fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, beans and whole grains into your diet. Include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are found in fish and vegetable oils. Stay away from processed foods, deep fried foods and excess sugar and salt.
Cognitive Activity –
“Make sure that you are challenging yourself”
Find new and challenging ways to use your mind and keep your mind active. You can learn new skills and join a club to focus on these skills. Go back to school. Start a new job, either for money or to volunteer. Increasing your cognitive activity will increase your neurons and help stretch your brain like you are stretching your body when you exercise. Make sure that you are challenging yourself, not just working through the easy crossword puzzle.
Social Engagement –
Research shows that adults who are socially engaged with others may benefit from increased brain health. Staying socially active doesn’t even have a monetary cost. Call your friends, call your family, meet your neighbors. Some of the same things that you are doing to work on your cognitive activity and physical health can work hand-in-hand with engaging socially. Walk with your neighbor, volunteer, join a book club.
In conclusion, these 4 ways to protect your brain so you can age well are the keys to staying healthy. Exercise, Diet, Cognitive Activity and Social Engagement are the four pillars of keeping our brain and our body healthy as we age. Leave that crazy alcohol, smoke-filled, sugar-laced, couch potato life behind and focus on your best life, and brain, possible. We only get to live through this crazy life once and we want to make sure we remember every minute!
About the Author
Cynthia Perthuis left her cushy life in Corporate America in 2018 to use her personal experience with her parents and her entrepreneurial background to help the 10,000 people a day turning 65 in the US. The stress of helping aging loved ones and working full-time and caring for her own family while living over 1500 miles apart was overwhelming at times. She often wished there was a non-conflicted industry professional to help when facing these life-changing decisions. She has created her team at Senior Care Authority (www.scanyfl.com) for that purpose. Her team supports over 300 families a year as they navigate these decisions.
Cynthia is originally from Texas and holds a degree from Baylor University. She has made her home, for the past 18 years in New York City and recently added a home in Southwest Florida. She enjoys travel and outdoor activities and has practiced yoga regularly for over 15 years.