If you are over 50 or so, I really hope that you do NOT attribute forgetting something or misplacing your car keys to “having a senior moment.” Stop that right now! Don’t say it and don’t think it! What you focus on get….and that phrase is so disempowering!
As the baby boomer generation ages, the media increasingly features articles on incapacitating diseases such as Alzheimers and other forms of mental degeneration that supposedly come with the passing years. Some of my friends now have to handle the heartbreaking challenge of caring for parents afflicted with these conditions. I remember how sad I felt as a senior in high school when my 84-year old grandmother who had taught me to read and with whom I had been close, no longer recognized me. She may have had Alzheimers, but it was never diagnosed.
What can you do to maximize your chances of keeping your brain razor-sharp and remaining creative in your later years? Tips and techniques abound and include simple measures such as getting regular exposure to sunlight, boosting vitamin B-12 intake, meditating, making new friends, and engaging in regular exercise like walking. In the exercise realm, I would also recommend yoga. Yoga exercises the body from the inside out and inverted poses are especially helpful in increasing the blood supply to the brain to keep it sharp and refreshed.
I practice yoga 20-30 minutes daily and almost always include the shoulder stand, an inverted pose that has many of the same benefits to the brain as the headstand (which I have not learned). I believe this pose, which I hold for 3 minutes a day, will enable me to retain and keep improving my mental faculties in the years to come. In fact, I recently read an article from a health organization that reported yoga is one of the preferred alternative treatments for Alzheimers. As I advocate with learning every pose, when you learn the shoulder stand, start out with holding it for 10-20 seconds maximum. Every week add your 20-30 seconds to your holding time. Within a short period, you will be able to the maximum benefits from this pose by holding it 3 minutes or even longer.