People have a pretty much universal longing to live longer and do so while being healthy and vibrant. Below we look at two priorities for achieving just this. A long and healthy active life.
1. The right kind of conversations
Social engagement helps to keep your brain function healthy and protects you from cognitive decline as you age.
For example, people who continue to work into their 70s or 80s usually have less dementia than those who retire when they’re around 70. Older people who volunteer also have similar cognitive health.
Socializing with people, especially face-to-face, allows you to stay mentally sharp. And that’s because it is actually the most complex activity we do. It’s more complicated than brain surgery or crossword puzzles. Doing this in meaningful way with live people, not over Skype, it is demanding, and keeps your brain active.
2. Travel through complex environments
Another trick you can use to stay mentally healthy, while also keeping physically fit, is to travel through random natural environments.
Walking on uneven tracks, going under low rocks, and balancing your step on a log are surprisingly random physical movements, that demand very nuanced brain processes. As you work your way over more strange and demanding terrain, your brain sends signals, creating lightning-fast changes to your physical position to prevent you from falling. At this same time, the physical moves you make send signals right back to your brain. This all combines to create one hell of a mental workout.
So take lots of walks and hikes inside parks and maybe weird walking trails with an adventurous take, and while you are out there, try to balance on logs, go under low overhangs, and maybe even climb a tree. Don’t be too scared to make yourself look like a weirdo! If someone wants to know why you are doing this, as a grown man, why are you climbing a tree, tell them to go away. You’re making yourself dementia proof. Although one caution about hiking would be, depending on your area, it might be smart to bring bear spray along with you.
Author: Steven Sinclaire