Over the past few decades, society has become increasingly aware of the importance of physical exercise as a means of increasing longevity and improving the quality of life. Gym memberships and home training equipment sales are skyrocketing, and millions of exercise-related uploads flood YouTube and social media platforms every day. While this is a positive change, it does contrast sharply with the relative paucity of attention that mental fitness is receiving. While brain-training Apps are becoming more popular, there remains a general lack of mental health exercise and understanding in the world. Take it from the staff at our elderly care franchise: mental illness and impairment are as common as it is misunderstood. How would you change your health routine if our elderly care franchise told you that a new case of Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed every 68 seconds? What if we told you that the presence of this disease doubles every 5 years past age 65? Most importantly, what if we told you that mental training can help? For those interested in working on their mental fitness, our elderly care franchise has assembled 5 simple training techniques you can implement today.
Operate with your non-dominant hand. The next time you’re sitting in front of the television or listening to the radio, pick up a pencil and draw or write with your non-dominant hand. This sounds like a silly waste of time, but it actually demands a significant amount of brain power. You’re essentially teaching yourself to write again for the first time, which will stimulate a powerful cognitive response. Try it out with a friend and poke fun at each other’s attempts!
Make more time for friends and family. It can be tough to find time for socialization in this era of technological isolation, but it’s worth it! Studies have shown that adults who are socially inactive are more likely to have both physical and cognitive limitations. Throw a party – or host an intimate social gathering – and fire up some stimulating conversation. We’re social animals, and we are happiest and healthiest when we make time for our friends and family. Imagine if physical exercise was this easy!
Spin your favorite record. Music is one of the most powerful cognitive stimulants known to humankind. It can trigger, alter, and enhance mood, performance, memory, blood pressure, and brain activity. Listening to golden oldies will stimulate your memory (and deliver a wash of feel-good nostalgia!). Enjoying a complex virtuoso performance is supposedly a trigger for cognitive development, and while the MozartThe effect has been called into question, music’s other cognitive benefits – especially those related to mood – are accepted by the scientific community.
Read outside of your interests. Reading offers tremendous benefits for cognitive development and mental fitness, but it’s possible to stagnate a bit if you’re limited to one author, genre, or subject. One of the most stimulating parts of reading has to do with the introduction of new words and ideas. If you limit yourself to non-fiction, you’re denying yourself a word of fantastical imagination that will keep your mind working its best. Read outside of your comfort zone to enjoy stimulating perspectives.
Get back into the game night. Beyond the social benefits that we’ve already mentioned, game night gives you an excellent opportunity to challenge your brain with puzzles, rules, and strategies. You can be as simple or complex as your games as you like, from a classic round of card War to a comprehensive war gaming battle. If you or a loved one takes advantage of our Peace of Mind visit program, you can request some games be brought out for your next visit. To learn more brain health tips, visit our elderly care franchise website for articles, videos, and information.