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In Blog,Dementia,Disease,Health Care,Volunteer

What’s the word? Exercise may help

Scrabble tiles spell "learn." Learning new things can boost cognitive health, and exercise has a correlation with improved word recall.

What’s the word? Exercise may help

No matter our age, many of us have had “senior moments” where we can’t recall a name or a word – even if it’s on the proverbial tip of the tongue. But we might find ourselves doing it more as we grow older.

While the evidence is still out on whether computer and online games can improve your memory, research has shown that exercise can maintain connections and increase the structure of the brain. A recent small study showed a correlation between aerobic exercise and word recall.

When you care for your body, you’re also caring for your brain. In addition to exercise, the National Institute on Aging recommends these common tactics for protecting your cognitive health:

* Get health screenings and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

* Talk with your doctor about side effects of any medications you are taking that might affect memory.

* Don’t smoke and limit alcohol usage.

* Get enough sleep.

* Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.

* Stay active – shooting for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.

* Stay connected through social activities and volunteering.

* Keep your mind active – whether learning new things or engaging in hobbies.

ElderServe can help you with some of these tactics for maintaining cognitive health. You can connect with a lively group of older adults at our Senior Center, which has a variety of exercise and craft classes. The Center is also a Metro Nutrition site offering lunch on weekdays to income-eligible seniors. If that’s not your scene, we have volunteer opportunities that will keep you engaged with the community.

By spending some time on your health and well-being, you might reduce your senior moments to mere seconds.