What Makes a Healthy Brain?
The human brain is a powerful organ. It controls how we remember, learn, play and concentrate. Practicing brain-strengthening habits every day keeps your mind sharp and can help prevent or delay cognition problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Here are six tips that could help you maintain a healthier brain and improve brain function.
1. Exercise daily. Spend at least 30 minutes most days doing some type of activity that gets your heart pumping. Focus on a combination of cardio exercises, strength training, flexibility and balance. Make sure you are doing activities you enjoy so that you stick with this healthy habit.
2. Nourish your body. Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Consume a variety of foods of different colors, including green, leafy vegetables. Foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids are important as well. Minimize alcohol and caffeine (all in moderation). What’s good for the body is good for the brain!
3. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is so important because while we sleep, the brain repairs itself and it also completes a lot of important tasks, including preserving key memories and restoring information that was learned during the day. Aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
4. Manage your stress. There is growing evidence that stress damages the brain. Stress also can lead to depression, which can affect your memory and slow brain metabolism. Reduce your stress levels by practicing calming activities like meditation or yoga, exercising regularly and taking time for yourself to just relax.
5. Stay socially connected. Spend time with friends and family. Regular engagement and social activities with the people you care about can help maintain a healthy brain.
6. Use your brain. Do activities every day to stimulate your brain. Read a book, do crossword or jigsaw puzzles, play memory games, or a round of scrabble. Consider a program like Ageless Grace. These types of brain fitness programs are meant to exercise the body and stimulate the brain. The Ageless Grace exercises, based on neuroplasticity, activate all five functions of the brain – analytical, strategic, kinesthetic learning, memory/recall, creativity and imagination. It consists of 21 simple exercises focused on natural, everyday movements and it is designed for all ages and abilities.
It’s important to keep your mind sharp as you get older. And it’s never too early to start incorporating these into your daily life!
This article is provided by Dr. Deborah Moerland, Owner, FirstLight Home Care of Greater Lansing, MI. For more information, visit us online at Lansing.FirstLightHomeCare.com or call us at 517-483-2784.