4 habits to keep you mentally sharp in retirement


Sheila Callahan has been practicing for her upcoming retirement for the past decade. At least, that’s how the 63-year-old looks back on her summer as a teacher. She spent the summer months sailing, gardening, and playing pickleball. But when the last school bell of the year rings, Callahan will be a full-time retiree.

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The “I’m retiring” announcement requires a lot of pre-planning, not just the financial future. Those who responded to the longitudinal question, regardless of financial stability or other factors, European Health, Aging and Retirement Survey All researchers showed accelerated memory decline after retirement. However, there are ways to slow the age-related decline in cognitive function.

Callahan understands summer, but she also knows that winter in her hometown of Alexandria, Virginia isn’t all that great for her favorite hobby. She lives alone, so she knows she has to make plans for her months in advance. As many learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation can severely impact the cognitive abilities of older adults. So Callahan is already thinking about volunteering and other social activities she can do during the colder months to prevent isolation and the cognitive decline that comes with it.

“I can’t help but notice all my decline. You know, my knees. And I can’t remember the name. But I still choose to just keep going,” says Callahan. It helps that she has good retiree role models. “I sail with a man in his 90s, and I go to jazz with a couple in their 90s. [both] At 93, it’s as sharp as it gets. “

Stay connected or connect

Dr. Vivek Murthy, US Surgeon General, has made it his mission to help Americans find and maintain social connections. Spending too much time in isolation and disconnection from others can have a significant impact on health, including a 50% increased risk of developing dementia in older adults. About a quarter of adults over the age of 65 are socially isolated, according to a 2020 report. Now that I have free time from work, I have time to take classes in everything from art to philosophy. Do some volunteer work. Or turn the talk into a weekly walk, class, or other event by calling a friend you’ve been wanting to catch up on. And, of course, there’s always pickleball, which he’s one of the most social sports.

don’t stop moving

One of the key ways to keep your brain in top shape as you age, sorry songwriter will.i.am, is to exercise your brain. In other words, your body. Even if exercise hasn’t always been (or ever will be) mandatory at work, it’s never too late. Regardless of age, prioritizing exercise, whether it’s working out at the gym, hiking, swimming, or whatever activity you choose, can help you achieve “higher late-life cognitive status.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. (Yes, constant exercise is even better for your brain, but until time travel is invented, now is the best way to start.)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. If you need a walking companion and can afford the puppy upkeep, get a dog. On average, having a pet not only increases the amount of time he walks by 22 minutes per day, but also prevents cognitive decline. Health and Retirement Research.

send stress packing

Perhaps, in addition to increasing your fitness count, sex also increases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that affects memory, and decreases cortisol, a hormone released when you’re stressed. These are very simply the exact direction you want the chemical to move, as there is evidence that both lead to cognitive enhancement. Researchers in 2017 knew there was something good going on with the relationship between sex and the brain, but at the time they didn’t know why. However, results from study participants revealed that weekly sexual activity was associated with improved brain function in adults aged 50 to 83.

Both partner sex and masturbation can help people sleep better, and sleep has long been proven to be a protective measure against cognitive decline. But too much sleep can surprisingly lead to many health problems, including depression. Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, according to the National Institute on Aging. (If you can’t sleep or feel like you’re sleeping too much, see your doctor. You may need to take a sleep study to find the root cause of your sleep problems.)

But sex isn’t the only way to move your body to reduce stress levels. Study after study has revealed that yoga is a powerful sedative against stress. If you feel intimidated to start, find a local yoga class and tell the instructor that you are new to yoga practice. Most of them help me prepare and give me extra attention in learning yoga poses. Alternatively, consider starting with online classes. On one of his most popular yoga channels on YouTube, Yoga with Adriene, he has 12 million subscribers and offers hundreds of free classes for all experience levels.

In addition to reducing stress, it is also important not to create new stressors for yourself. Stick to your retirement budget.According to the American Psychological Association report, 72% of Americans are stressed about money american stress It’s best to keep your finances under control when you report. Haven’t made a budget yet? It’s never too late. If possible, work with a professional financial advisor to help you understand how much money you need. TRUE need and how much idea you will need And stick to that budget.

find a new way of working

For some people, retirement feels like they were kicked out rather than their choice. Their retirement announcement ultimately stems from their colleagues’ perception that they are too old to be useful, too late or too forgetful, he said.

Researchers call this retirement factor “exhaustion syndrome.” Sound familiar? Don’t let ageism dictate how you live your life. Keeping yourself busy with meaningful work (including volunteer work) keeps your brain active. There is no reason why you should stay retired. If you enjoy your work, find a place where your contributions are appreciated, regardless of your age. Alternatively, consider a part-time job. After all, you have a busy schedule. I also have hobbies I want to do and walking my dog.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

Details from Fortune:
5 Side Jobs That Could Earn $20,000+ A Year While Working From Home
Want to earn extra cash?Currently APY for this CD is 5.15%
Buy a house?See how much you can save here
This is how much you need to earn per year to comfortably buy a $600,000 house

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