If you’re an older adult, cognitive decline is probably top of mind.
Warding off dementia might be as easy as going outside.
“Stress, anxiety and lack of exercise promote loss of brain cells, potentially leading to memory loss. Being outdoors decreases stress and increases exercise, thereby protecting brain cells,” says Dr. Habib.
Still not convinced? Other benefits of spending time outdoors include:
- Intensifying your curiosity to explore
- Alleviating anxiety and depression
- Lowering cancer risk
- Reducing blood pressure
“Many studies have shown benefits of being outdoors. People in Scandinavian countries do so regularly and they are among the happiest in the world,” says Dr. Habib.
And while you’re out there, don’t forget to exercise. Dr. Habib recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week, so consider adding gardening or taking a walk to your daily routine.
Or playing your daily Wordle.
Not the outdoors type? This section is for you. Word games can help reduce memory loss and delay the onset of dementia.
“Concentration on tasks is good for our brains. Playing word games keeps us focused,” Dr. Habib says.
In addition, word games offer the following benefits:
- Improved thinking and problem-solving skills
- Boost to self-esteem
- Building social connections
Not sure where to start? Try one of these brainpower boosts:
- Crossword puzzles
- Word searches
“It is important not just to think of our physical fitness, but to take care of our mental fitness as well. Whether it’s spending time outdoors or reading and doing puzzles, keeping your mind active can help tremendously,” Dr. Habib says.