From diet and exercise to making time for self-care and relaxation, you might be taking steps to make your health a priority. But when it comes to overall wellness, don’t forget about your brain!
Simple lifestyle choices can have a profound impact on brain health. This Brain Awareness Week consider these expert tips to help brain better — at any age.
Exercise: Physical activity is as important for the brain as it is for the body. It changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills, while also improving mood and reducing stress. So, what are you waiting for? Whether it’s walking, dancing, yoga or even mopping the kitchen floor, find an activity that works for you. It’s most important that you get your heart rate up and break a slight sweat.
Get your ZZZs: While you sleep, your brain is hard at work restoring information and memories and preparing you for another day. Sleep deprivation has been found to disrupt the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other, leading to mental lapses and perception and memory problems. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, stick with a routine and be sure to limit exercise, caffeine, alcohol and screen time close to bedtime.
Eat right: Emerging evidence suggests an association between dietary habits and cognitive performance. Research shows that a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fish, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, olives and nuts helps maintain brain health. Additionally, cutting back on foods high in saturated fats, such as red meat and butter, may help ward off a variety of degenerative diseases affecting your heart and your brain.
Try new things: De-stress with activities you find enjoyable and find support in your loved ones and social network, but don’t get stuck in a rut. Becoming a life-long learner will enhance intellectual stimulation and help keep you — and your brain — healthier and happier. The most important thing to know is that no matter how old we are we can take simple, and even fun, steps to improve our brain performance.