Are you taking the steps necessary to maintain a healthy brain? What is brain health exactly? Having a healthy brain means that one of your most important organs is functioning at optimal level. This includes your ability to recall memories, problem solve, learn, concentrate, and how you oversee life. It is never too late to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce your risk of declining brain health. Let’s go through some of the top ways to stay on top of brain function…
Move your body!
Exercising on a regular basis is essential to having a healthy brain. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, sending blood to the brain and body; researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas published a new study that found regular exercise improves brain health in aging adults. Those who follow an exercise regime showed an increase in blood flow to the anterior cingulate (region linked to excellent cognitive function in mature brains) and the hippocampus (key region affected by Alzheimer’s disease). You don’t have to spend money or do anything extravagant; even a short, daily walk can promote good brain health.
Don’t just exercise your body, exercise your brain too.
Cardiovascular exercise may show regional blood flow, but if you really want to optimize your brain health mental training is essential. Complex mental training increases your entire brain’s blood flow. This can mean signing up for a class at a local college or online, or reading at home on a regular basis. Not only will you see changes in your memory, mood, and confidence, but your overall quality of life will improve as well. Combining physical and mental exercises could be the best way to improve your overall cognitive function.
Even though stress can motivate people to perform and get things done, too much of anything is bad for you, and your brain health. Studies show that stress can have a negative effect on multiple illnesses, and cognitive function. Adding meditation into your routine can reduce stress levels, improve emotional wellbeing, and overall health. The best part is you can practice it anytime, anywhere. There are many variations of meditation you can try to see these benefits, including: guided meditation, mindfulness, yoga, focused attention, or simply relaxed, deep breathing. Keep an open mind, and know that there is no “wrong” way to meditate. Lower daily stress, and bring balance to your mind and body.
Cut out the junk.
Food is fuel, what is in your fuel determines how well your brain and body function. Studies have found that processed food worsens your ability to regulate insulin, promotes inflammation and stress, and impairs brain health. Depriving your brain of quality nutrition is a sure way to speed up cognitive decline. Eating a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.
Get enough sleep.
Nobody enjoys feeling sluggish and tired. Not getting enough rest impairs your ability to problem solve, reason, and concentrate. Studies show that sleep restores your brain health by flushing out toxins, and repairing cells. The glymphatic system drains waste from the brain by sending fluids through channels that surround your brain’s blood vessels. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center discovered that this system can help remove a toxin known as beta-amyloid, a protein found in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s. Getting the sleep your body needs is essential to cognitive function.
Get started today!
A healthy lifestyle reciprocates a healthy brain. No matter what your age is you can embark on the journey of improving your life. It may take a few tweaks and adjustments to your daily life, but with consistency you will begin to see the benefits in no time.