As we age, our brain literally shrinks. Over time, we may lose more than 10% of its size. But the brain is similar to muscle, in that muscles shrink and lose strength without exercise. Similarly, the brain can be “exercised” through a variety of different approaches from mindful stimulation, puzzles, and life long learning to proper nutrition and rest.

Seniors may experience declines in many key areas of cognitive function. Here are some tips to maintaining an active brain.

– Exercise: Regular exercise can be extremely positive in keeping the brain healthy. When your body benefits from exercise, so does your brain.

– Reading: Is beneficial on many levels. When you read, you may experience “new learning”. You absorb the information contained in the book. And the functional act of reading actually helps to build connections within the brain that make it more versatile.

– Eat properly: Concentrating on an all-around healthy diet may be the best nutritional strategy for keeping the brain, and body, in good health. Research has identified many foods and food groups such as fish, and nuts, which have been linked to a healthy brain.

– Maintain good posture: Maintaining an upright posture improves circulation and blood-flow to the brain. Slouching posture requires the circulatory system to work harder to maintain healthy blood flow.

– Sleep well: Getting enough sleep is important for mind and body. Sleep provides rest for a weary and tired body, supporting a refreshed body and mind.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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