Last night, while doing some work on the computer, my ADHD brain caught an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles. It was a normal crime-solving episode. Situation happens, our heroes figure it out, crime is solved. In the aftermath, a former old grizzled Marine was the pilot of the 747 in jeopardy and thanked our heroes for the save. In the midst of thanking him, he mentioned that he was unable to leave the cockpit due to his duty.
Despite his age, he can put up a pretty good fight adding “Men like us aren’t designed to get old. We don’t know how to handle it.” I never really thought about it but many of us are not designed to get old. Just because we are aging, doesn’t mean we have to be old.
When we think of aging we see wrinkles, loose skin, gray hair, and creaky bones. Physical aging is going to happen, people. Despite the inevitability of physical aging, there is another form of aging which is mental aging. I am not talking about dementia or Alzheimer’s. Those are diseases that are, at the moment, incurable. Mental aging is also not when you lock your keys in the car, leave your wallet at home, or forget a few items at the grocery store. That is life, folks. Mental aging is when you tell yourself “I am old,” “I can’t do this anymore,” or the famous “I ain’t as good as I once was.” All of those thoughts are total bullshit. This is an excuse for when things get hard. Yes, things will get harder as you get older. Here is how it is possible to prevent mental aging:
Eat Foods That Are Good For The Brain
- Salmon– Packed with Omega-3’s. Omega-3’s are nutrients that are essential to brain function
- Oxidizing fruit– Such as blueberries. They help reduce the risk of dementia, enhance motor skills, and improve learning capacity.
- Nuts– Eat lots of nuts. As many as you can. They contain Vitamin E which decreases the chances of your motor skills declining.
- Avocados– Ahh, Avocados. Mother nature’s gift to us all. The Superfood. This type of fat increases blood flow. The more blood to the brain, the better.
- Whole grains– Such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice. Promotes cardiovascular health. The better the heart pumps, the more oxygen and blood the brain receives.
- Beans– The musical fruit…I don’t do dad jokes, you know the rest. They have glucose which is the brain’s fuel. When you do not have proper glucose you will fill tired and everything will seem foggy.
Reading is an essential brain exercise that keeps the blood flowing and your neurons stimulated. “What should I read O Wise El Presidente?” Anything that can expand your mind and make you do some real thinking. I would start by reading this week’s STEAMy Article or anything else on this site. Also, try reading a novel. Brain food doesn’t mean food in the physical form.
Do A Brain Teaser
Puzzles are dumbbells or kettlebells for your mind. They help strengthen your critical thinking skills. Crossword puzzles, word searches, chess, checkers, and other strategy games can keep those lights running upstairs while building that brain power. It is a muscle after all and like all muscles, it needs to be tested.
You knew I was going to say it. Everyone knows that a key to staying mentally young is physical exercise. I know our bodies one day will tell us “You can’t bench press anymore,” “You can’t run a marathon either,” “Don’t you think about entering that Spartan Race old man/lady.” Truth is, you are not going to be able to do those things forever. That doesn’t mean you stop tomorrow because you are going to be old one day. Even when you do get old, still continue to do something. But we will cross that bridge when we get there. Hopefully, you live long enough to read “Old People Exercises” by me in 50 years.
You Are Not Dead…Yet
As stated before, you are going to get old. You are also going to die. I am not going to advise you on how to deal with death. That is on you. You want some weird, inspirational quote about dealing with death? Talk to a priest. Like our pilot stated in that NCIS: Los Angeles episode, some of us are not designed to get old. However, most of us are only because we let it happen. You cannot stop yourself from getting old, but if you could slow it down, would you at least try?