Dear Red Hot Mamas- June 2021

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: June 8, 2021

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

My mother was an incredibly witty person and she could even remember things that happened in her life everything from many years ago. Her mind, even in her 80’s never went downhill like a bobsled team.

However, I wonder how many menopausal woman amongst us can still tell a joke and remember the punch line? Or, how many of you have walked into a room and then had forgotten what you had come in for? Or even, remember where you put your keys?

One of my main problems is losing my car in parking lots. When this happens, panic sets in as I roam the parking lot. Yes, I admit that I am getting older and my biggest aging fear is major forgetfulness.

I am fully aware that menopause and aging does have an effect on our memory, but it is not always indicative of a problem. But these changes in our memory can be pretty scary at times.

Researchers have found that these factors contribute to declines in our brain health: high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, and being overweight or obese. Other factors include sugar and alcohol consumption.

But there is good news. That is, if you spur into action, you can take steps to protecting your memory. First, you need to take care of your heart by regularly checking and treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And, by making good lifestyle choices.

Exercise is key. When you exercise regularly more blood is pumped into the brain which helps your brain cells work better. And exercise also reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and more.

Eat wisely. There is a diet called the MIND diet. Basically this is the Mediterranean diet which helps feed the brain. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, poultry, whole grains and olive oil.

Manage stress. Chronic stress is damaging as it may kill brain cells. Try to devise ways to minimize your stress levels.

Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to forgetfulness and problems with concentration.

Challenge your brain with mental stimulation. Try studying a foreign language or learning to play a musical instrument. Or even tackle a crossword puzzle. Lifelong learning makes life more interesting.

And, of course, don’t smoke. Smoking is not only bad for your lungs but it also can contribute to dementia.

In closing, make the most of your memory and stay as mentally agile as possible.  It is never too late to start developing habits that will help protect your brain from aging.

Good Health to You All,

Karen Giblin