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Maintaining Optimal Cognitive Function into Older Age

Cognitive decline in older age is a concern many more of us are facing these days.

It's clear that following a diet and lifestyle to help avoid conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure can play an important role in maintaining strong mental and physical functioning into later life.

Helpful lifestyle factors include:

No smoking.

Consuming only low to moderate amounts of alcohol.

Ensuring you get enough regular exercise.

Consuming good nutrient-rich foods in a varied diet to avoid any severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies or imbalances.

Lower levels of stress. Regular Yoga & Meditation practice have long been shown to offer huge benefits in reducing stress and cortisol levels and aid deeper relaxation and effective cognitive functioning.

Staying hydrated - aiming for 2 litres of water a day.

Keeping mentally active - completing puzzles, learning a language, reading, writing, playing a musical instrument, learning something new.

Being engaged socially - joining and participating in local clubs, sharing activities and maintaining social support networks. Perhaps joining a yoga class, study group, reading meet-ups, knitting club, chess club, etc.

Eating plenty of good fats - eg. avocado, nuts.

Regular physical activity, particularly exercise that involves mind-body connection and co-ordination skills, like yoga, pilates, tai-chi, golf, dance, tennis, etc.

Keeping up with hobbies and interests; gardening, seeing friends, attending a group class, arts and crafts, reading, cooking, etc.

Ensuring you get plenty of good adequate rest and enough deep sleep.

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