Although diet seems to be the most significant factor to prevent dementia, other factors such as physical exercises, mental exercises, living environment, and social life all contribute to keeping your cognitive function healthy.
Today, let me talk about mental exercises.
When you talk about the brain, the best exercise is directly working on your brain. There are all kinds of things you can do. You can do your daily activities differently; eating food or brushing your teeth by the opposite hand, or going shopping using a different route.
You can make a list of grocery items, things to do, or anything else that comes to mind.
You can then memorize it. An hour later, see how many items you can remember.
Learning something new is often said to help maintain your brain function. Picking up a new language is one. Learning to play a musical instrument is another.
Reading books is also good. Apparently, it was suggested by an AI that reading books is the most vital factor for longevity after analyzing the data of survey conducted to 410000 people who were over 65 on their daily activities.
Taking a course to study something is another thing you can do. Fortunately, there are a lot of online courses available these days and you can even take university courses for free. Taking a course might be better than just reading books at random since it gives you a purpose or direction.
Which brings the point of ikigai. According to Dan Buettner, ikigai is one of the factors for longevity seen in people in Blue Zones. Ikigai is a Japanese word meaning a life purpose or a reason to live, and many people in Blue Zones have ikigai even in their old age. For many people, career or bringing up your children have been your ikigai, and once you are retired and the children are grown up, you lose it. In the 100-year life age, you need to find a new ikigai at this point to keep your passion.
Taking a course can be a new ikigai. You can even attend a degree course at a university. Or, you can start a new career. If you retire at the age of 65, you still have 35 more years to go if you live until 100. Financially, too, you would want to have additional income to support all those long years.
In Ikigai Diet, we regard ikigai to be a little more than the general concept of ikigai. We look at ikigai as your life mission. Something you feel you were born to do. If your career has been a way to fulfill your life mission, it won’t end when you retire. You will continue the work or move to the next stage of fulfilling your mission. Starting a new work or moving up to the new level will require new learning, and it will stimulate your brain.
If you want to find a business based on your ikigai, please read my other book IKIGAI BUSINESS.