We pay more attention to the health of our body than we do the health of our brain. Just as there are many things you can do to preserve the health of your body, you can also take steps to preserve your cognitive abilities. You have more control over your brain health than you might think.
Taking the right steps today can help to avoid serious issues, like stroke and Alzheimer’s disease down the road. The future of your brain health largely depends on what you do today.
Here are some ways to help boost your brain health:
Get enough sleep and relaxation. Your body and brain don’t function properly without sleep. A lack of sleep is stressful for every component of your body. Sleep energizes you, improves your mood and your immune system, and may reduce a particular plaque which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Managing stress through meditation may help fend off age-related decline in brain health. Research shows that regular meditation helps keep your brain happier and healthier for years to come.
Have positive relationships. Leading an active social life can protect you against memory loss. Spend time with those you enjoy, engaging in stimulating converstations. Negative relationships have a negative impact on your brain. Spending too much time alone isn’t good for your brain either. Studies show that those with the most social interaction in their community experience the slowest rate of memory decline.
Pay attention to what you put in your body. It’s no secret that consumption of alcohol and tobacco can both have negative health consequences. Limit your use of these items as much as possible. Eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as beans, berries, apples, nuts and dark leafy greens.
Be physically active each day. Do something each day to challenge your body. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing alzheimer’s disease. Exercise improves blood flow and memory. It stimulates chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning, mood and thinking.
Likewise, be mentally active each day. Mental exercise is just as critical as physical exercise in keeping your brain fit and healthy. Brains develop when challenged. The loss of cognitive ability due to age can be slowed, too. There are plenty of activities to choose from:
- Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or any other brain puzzle
- Study a new language.
- Study a musical instrument.
- Write: novel, journal, blog, poem.
- Play cards.
- Count backward from 500 by sevens.
- Do math problems.
- Go back to school and take a class.
Lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure has several negative consequences. Among those is damaging the lining of the blood vessels, including those in your brain. This greatly contributes to the likelihood of suffering a stroke, along with many other catastrophic health issues.
Lower your blood sugar. High blood sugar is also damaging to the lining of blood vessels. If you have blood sugar issues, it’s important to see your doctor and address it immediately.
Many of the things that help your body, such as exercise and a healthy diet, are also good for your brain. Live a healthy lifestyle and keep your brain busy, and you will be rewarded with a better quality of life!