Have you ever heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it?” There may be more truth to this adage than previously thought.
Recent studies done in the United States, England, and 11 other European countries indicate that the earlier someone retires, the more quickly they may have memory problems. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are growing problems now that people are living longer. As scientists struggle to find treatment options, we do know that certain behaviors and lifestyle choices make things worse including retirement.
A British study released this month revealed some shocking facts about retirement. In the study, they tracked 3400 civil servants and found that short-term memory declined nearly 40% faster once employees retired. This means conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s may kick in more quickly than in people who keep their minds and bodies active by working longer and staying fit. These days, as baby boomers age and the average life expectancy at 78.76 years, these statistics are a forewarning we all need to heed, whether for ourselves, parents or grandparents.
In the study, volunteers were given regular memory tests over a 30-year period covering the final years of their careers and the early years of their retirement. The results, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that verbal memory deteriorated 38 percent faster once these volunteers had retired. The report concluded, “Retirement accelerates the decline in verbal memory function.” It did not matter what the volunteer’s job function was while still working. Even high ranking civil servants who presumably used their brains more than their brawn saw their brain capacity decline at the same rates once they retired.
In short, this study highlights what we already suspected: To maintain peak health and alleviate cognitive decline it is vitally important to continue to be active and stimulate your brain long after you retire. There is also evidence that social skills and human interaction are vital to mental health. Getting up early, interacting with people, knowing the value of having somewhere to go and something to do all simulate the cognitive benefits we get from our work environment.
What can you do to ward off the mental decline retirement can bring? The more cognitively active we can remain, the more it offsets the risks of dementia. Stay active, eat a healthy diet, maintain healthy habits and get out of the house on a regular basis. You can choose to do things such as volunteer in the community or at local schools, get a part-time job, start an at-home business, support a cause, or take classes from a local college or art center. Do something you enjoy that stimulates you. We all have passions we didn’t have time to pursue when we were younger. Do that!
Reading also improves memory, concentration, and relieves stress. Getting physically active by taking daily walks or going to the gym not only help your brain function but reduce the odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Exercise reduces brain fog and helps protect memory and thinking skills.
Proper rest and recovery time is also important, making meditative practices such as BrainTapping a necessary part of a healthy retirement routine.
For this reason, BrainTap offers sessions perfect for the retiree. Ten-minute morning sessions wake up the brain while Brain Fitness sessions stimulate neuroplasticity to keep neurons firing and wiring together for better memory and focus. A 20-minute afternoon session is far more productive for your brain and body than a lengthy nap and, if quality sleep occasionally eludes you, a Healthy Sleep Habits session will guide your brain into a natural sleep rhythm. By adding BrainTap to your daily routine, you’ll have the focus, energy, and motivation to lead a healthy, productive and fulfilling life for all of your retirement years.
Retirement is something we all look forward to. Taking these few simple steps to ensure your brain’s health and vitality when you retire will help you enjoy it even more! CLICK HERE to start your 15-Day FREE Trial!
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