These changes can help keep your mind sharp and reduce risk

seniors playing gameAs we get older, our bodies and lifestyles change a lot. One of the biggest changes happens in our brains, and this can affect how we live.

With age, parts of the brain may shrink, communication between brain cells can become less efficient, blood flow might decrease, and inflammation can worsen after injuries or illness, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In more severe cases, these changes can harm brain cells and contribute to diseases like Alzheimer's. These brain changes can make it harder to:

  • Remember things
  • Multitask
  • Pay attention
  • Learn new things

But not all of these changes are unavoidable. Research shows that small lifestyle changes can help improve brain health and function.

Brain-healthy habits

Here are some tips:

  • Stay active: Aerobic exercises, like swimming, walking, dancing and cycling, can make the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning bigger. This helps improve your spatial memory.
  • Eat healthy: A balanced diet can lower the risk of diseases that can lead to dementia, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. The Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, fish and healthy fats, can also lower the risk of dementia.
  • Keep your mind active: Learning new skills and keeping your brain stimulated can improve memory. Research shows that adults who learn new things see more improvement in memory.

Brain health is crucial for older adults. Making healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of serious brain diseases like Alzheimer's. If you notice any problems with your brain function, it's important to see a doctor. They can help you identify risk factors and create a treatment plan.