Learn a word a day
Pick out a word from the newspaper or dictionary every day. Put it on an index card and quiz yourself occasionally. It may not sound like much, but this type of exercise keeps your brain sharp. The brain continues to regenerate nerve cells throughout your entire life, and this process called neurogenesis helps older adults to improve memory and cognitive function as they age. If learning a new word doesn't appeal to you, try something challenging that's more your style like reading history books or learning chess. People who have stayed true to this daily learning have been able to recover as much as 20 years of memory power.
Over the last 10 years countless studies have been published showing that people in happy marriages have healthier and longer lives. Some even showed decline in things like heart disease and cholesterol based upon their relationship status. Emotional connections don't just appear, they require work to maintain. Take the time out to reestablish some of these relationships that you've lost. It can be as simple as writing an email or picking up the phone, and it can add years to your life.
Climb the stairs
In a study of 5,000 people over age 70, all participants had some sort of physical limitation, but the ones who got even minimal exercise were 55% less likely to develop more serious physical issues like severe joint pain or muscle weakness. Minimal exercise in this instance was defined as the equivalent of walking a mile in a week, so even the little movements can add up to a great preventative degree.
Stop and smell the flowers
60% of all doctor visits are for stress related issues. Take some time out to remember that the world doesn't have to be rushed through. For some people its as simple as a few minutes of contact with the natural world, even 5 minutes of watching birds at the feeder can have a restorative effect. Nature has a way of restoring our equilibrium, so take a deep breath and relax.
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