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Healthy ageing: 4 daily habits for optimal brain health

Healthy ageing: 4 daily habits for optimal brain health

If you’re in middle or older age, you may have noticed your memory and focus isn’t what it used to be. Thankfully there are things you can do to boost your cognitive health. In fact, play your cards right and you can create a huge turnaround so that you’re sharper than ever.

Your mental performance is an important part of who you are and when it begins to slip, it can take away from your level of home care independence and overall quality of life. These cognitive skills include things like decision making, memory, capacity to learn and your language. When you work at sharpening these abilities, the good news is that you may also help to elevate your mood and improve physical mobility too, so it’s a win-win for healthy ageing.

Ready to learn how to whip your brain into gear in your older years? Let’s go!

  1. Exercise your mental muscles for improved cognitive health

Use it or lose it, they say. Thanks to neuro plasticity, your brain has the ability to gradually rewire or redevelop itself, at any age. The key to this brain elasticity is practise or brain training – that is, utilising your brain to perform tasks that require some mental muscle.

There are a whole lot of activities you can engage in to work your brain and help sharpen your cognitive abilities. Try learning a language, playing a musical instrument or doing crosswords and puzzles. Activities such as art, listening to music, reading, and socialising with friends and family also qualify.

For the best results, make a habit of challenging yourself mentally and be consistent. You’re never too old to start as there are still gains to be made at any age.

  2. Eat well to boost your brain power

If your aim is to stay young mentally, your diet is vital. A cognitive health diet is made up of wholefoods, focusing on vegetables and fruits, wholegrains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, with perhaps some fish, meat and eggs. This type of eating is Mediterranean in nature and will provide good amounts of nutrients and antioxidants, healthy fats and quality protein. These foods all nourish and support the health of the brain, while reducing harmful inflammation.

Thankfully Gourmet Dinner Service has a whole range of wholesome meals that are just perfect for older Australians. GDS also works with clients on Home Care Packages, making accessing good food so much easier and more affordable. Here are four top meal suggestions for brain health but there are plenty more on our website.




An important point to remember is that what you exclude from your diet is as important as what you include. Minimise processed foods and those high in sugar, salt, fat and refined carbohydrates.

  3. Physical activity benefits the health of the brain

It might sound surprising but moving your body can help boost your brain power. Studies show that consistent physical activity is linked with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, the memory part of your brain.

Ideally, you should meet the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and to try to incorporate movement into your daily activities. This might mean taking the stairs more often or doing some exercises while brushing your teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil.

  4. Sleep & relaxation for brain repair

An active brain needs time to rest and recuperate and that’s why quality sleep and mental downtime is so important. During sleep the brain not only repairs itself but also consolidates the information learned during the day. Sleeping well is linked to better learning, memory and longer-term retention.

As well as needing good sleep, your brain also benefits from mental time outs during the day. This encompasses reducing your stress levels and preventing anxiety and depression. Your best bet is to create a habit of using stress reduction techniques every day. You could try meditation, exercise, yoga or just taking time out for yourself to sit quietly or enjoy a nice bath.

Healthy ageing for your mind and your body

Keeping your brain fit and healthy is possible at any age. All it takes is adopting these four simple, daily strategies. Not only can they help you to maintain your current faculties but it is possible to claw back some of your focus and memory loss too.

Check out the menu at Gourmet Dinner Service if you’re looking to save time and keep on top of a healthy, varied and unprocessed diet, which is so vital for keeping your brain in tip top condition. If you’re interested in how we can help you on a Aged Care, Home Care Package, you’ll find all that information on our website too or you can phone us on 1300 131 070.