I don’t know about you, but when I think of health, I usually don’t imagine my brain. As important as the space between my ears is, I tend to think of my physical health before I get to specific organs!
In reality, your brain is the conductor of your entire body. To be and stay at your best, your brain needs to be healthy, too. That’s exactly why I’m going to share the six basic pillars for a healthy brain with you.
Regular physical exercise
People who regularly exercise have a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as noted by The Alzheimer’s Society (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/physical-exercise). When you work out, you’re boosting blood flow and memory, alongside stimulating chemical brain changes that can enhance mood, thinking and learning.
Proper food and nutrition
You are, in fact, what you eat! As you age, your brain is exposed to stress due to factors from your lifestyle and environment, and this results in oxidation that damages your blood cells. Eat antioxidant-rich food to help fend off that brain “rust.”
Control over medical risks
Smoking, high cholesterol, depression, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure all boost your risk of dementia. See your doctor regularly, follow their recommendations, and take your medicines as prescribed to help reduce and control these risks.
Good old-fashioned sleep
Sleep gives you energy, boosts your mood and may reduce the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in your brain. This is an abnormal protein that has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Consistent mental workouts
As with many other things, your mind is “use it or lose it.” Do regular mental exercises to keep your brain working at its best and promote the growth of new brain cells, which will help decrease your risk of developing dementia. Hobbies that require focus, word puzzles, reading and brain training apps can all help you exercise that all-important muscle.
An active social life can actually help you prevent memory loss. Spend time with others, stay in touch and connected with friends and family members, and engage in real conversations to help improve your brain health.
Your brain is the hub of your body. While it’s easy to forget about your brain’s health, it does need the same attention as other parts of your body for your overall well-being. Keep the six pillars of brain health above in mind so your brain works at its peak for years to come.