You Can Boost Your Brain Health In 9 Simple Ways

A long, healthy life requires a healthy brain

 

Did you know that your brain is always changing? That’s the one constant about the most complex organ we have that controls every part of us. This fascinating, complex machine, made up of over 100 billion nerve cells, has power over our emotions, memories, movement and speech. So, taking care of it is key!

There are some things you can do to help slow any decline in memory and lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. It’s never too late to implement some simple lifestyle changes; in fact, your 40s and 50s are an ideal time to take action!

 

Use your brain or lose it…

Our brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Mental decline is typical, and it’s one of the most feared consequences of ageing. 

But cognitive impairment is not inevitable. Keeping your brain healthy is essential for living a long and full life. If you’re looking for ways to stay mentally sharp, try these 9 simple strategies:

#1 Eat well and maintain a healthy weight

Poor diet, excess weight and obesity can lead to insulin resistance that produces harmful inflammatory proteins in the brain, leading to cognitive problems such as impaired memory. Men should aim for a waist measurement below 40 inches; women should be below 35 inches.

Eat brain foods such as walnuts, fish (salmon, halibut and sardines), avocados and green leafy vegetables as well as foods that are rich in flavonoids such as wine, tea and dark chocolate.

Enjoy the colourful fruits and vegetables that are bursting with antioxidants such as blueberries, red gage plums and red bell peppers by eating them occasionally or better yet often! Choose colourful fruits and vegetables over less appealing foods (such as beige carrots or white potatoes) because they’re packed with healthful vitamins that help boost your memory performance!

#2 Exercise an hour or more each day 

By walking, biking or swimming on most days of the week; you’ll lower both your blood pressure and stress levels and improve your overall mood. 

Experts have discovered that cardiovascular exercise keeps brain function more youthful, even in seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or other neurological diseases. MCI is often an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease or other kinds of dementia. 

Working out also boosts blood flow and the production of new nerve cells within the hippocampus region of your brain (which is responsible for memory) as well as encourages your body to produce new cells throughout your body that make new neurons possible, particularly in regions involved with motor skills such as walking and talking.

#3 Exercise your mind 

Brain teasers, word games and crossword puzzles improve your fluid intelligence — the ability to solve problems using information that you haven’t been exposed to before. As we age, our fluid intelligence typically begins to decrease slightly. These games provide a fun way to keep your mind active and your intellectual skills sharp. 

Do some learning online or in the library (you can easily learn to play an instrument or how to speak another language); play bridge or chess (you can also play online at sites like; take a class; learn a new hobby like photography or painting; read books, newspapers and magazines regularly because such activities help to keep older adults cognitively fit over time; watch documentaries on educational stations like PBS, History Channel or Discovery Channel!

#4 Read books

Reading is one of the best exercises to boost brain health because it helps build connections between brain cells, which is necessary to remember things and think critically later on in life. 

Fiction in particular has many benefits because it engages both sides of the brain at once – encouraging critical thinking while also stimulating our imaginations. If reading fiction isn’t your thing, consider switching up your genre – non-fiction books like biographies or history books are also effective at keeping you sharp!

#5 Connect with peers or old friends 

Socializing has countless benefits for your physical health, like lowering high blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. But it also has a positive effect on your cognitive health by improving the quality of relationships in your life and reducing stress. 

Social isolation is associated with cognitive decline. After a period of chronic stress, you may forget what your goal was in the first place; you get so overwhelmed by the situation that it is too much for your brain to handle.

So make sure you spend quality time with people who love you and will help keep your mind sharp! 

Strong family relationships have been shown to have a positive effect on cognitive function, which is good news for many of us who are connected to our loved ones via Facebook and text messaging.

Join clubs, community organizations or religious groups. Having meaningful social connections boosts your emotional health as well as your memory performance because people who are socially connected are happier and more fulfilled, regardless of age. 

Don’t forget about online communities for friends and loved ones as well — there are many excellent sites that support those who are sick or have chronic illnesses such as cancer, lupus, diabetes and more.

#6 Learn to Meditate

Meditation is an excellent way to train your brain to remain calm and level-headed despite daily stressors that can take their toll. It also helps you become more aware of your emotions, which can reduce anxiety and fear. When it comes to improving memory, meditation can help improve the connections between neurons in the hippocampus, where memories are formed. Not only does this help boost memory retention, but research suggests that it may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline, especially Alzheimer’s disease.

#7 Sleep soundly at night 

Going to bed early when you’re tired and turning off the television 1 hour before bedtime so that you can grab a few more winks can immensely support brain health. Make sure you have a comfortable, relaxing place to sleep where you won’t be disturbed by noise or light; wear comfortable pyjamas and get a good night’s rest every night! Avoid naps when possible because they can interfere with your nighttime sleep.

#8 Be kind to yourself

Develop a relaxed, enjoyable attitude in life; learn how to allow things that don’t really matter to get out of the way so that you can live fully in each moment rather than allowing events from the past to bother you or anticipating what might possibly happen in the future; be open to new experiences and take joy in each moment!

#9 Write your own list! 

This is the most important thing you can do. Capture all of the important things that bring meaning and happiness into your life so that you can tap into these memories when your memory performance might be declining due to ageing or illness.

 

Have lots of fun!  Learn to laugh more than you cry, take a light-hearted approach to life and enjoy the journey!

 

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