CLEVELAND – While retirement is a time to kick back and relax, it’s important to find activities to keep your mind sharp.
“When we retire, we often lose a lot of intellectual engagement we got from our job. Without that, we’re not optimizing our brain health for life,” explained Jessica Caldwell, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Dr. Caldwell said finding ways to keep your brain active in your golden years may help prevent memory issues down the road.
While picking an activity that’s enjoyable is key, it must also challenge you.
Learning a new skill, reading a book and doing a puzzle are just some examples of how you can engage your brain.
Dr. Caldwell said the goal should be to do an activity like this every day.
Finding ways to stay social is also crucial when it comes to long-term brain health.
“Most of us make friends at work, or at least have acquaintances at work we enjoy seeing,” Dr. Caldwell said. “If you retire and don’t have that network outside of work, you might find yourself feeling isolated or lonely. Both isolation and loneliness are not good for our brain health and are risk factors for dementia. When you retire, it’s important to keep up a social network.”
Dr. Caldwell adds that regular exercise and eating a healthy diet are other ways to maintain brain health as you age.