How are you?
Many of us spend a great deal of time looking after our physical fitness, exercising regularly and eating out, but how many of us work on our brain fitness? the fact is that most of us don’t think very much about our brain health at all until we start to notice that our memory isn’t as good as it once was or that it’s harder for us to pick up new skills. This is such a shame because there are so many things we can do to take better care of our brains now, that will also protect them in the future.
If you want to ensure that your brain is in as good shape as possible, here are a few things you can do:
Yes, exercise is as important for the brain as it is for the body. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain and this can promote brand new cell growth which could prevent or at least slow down signs of dementia as we age. The best exercise to do is an exercise that you enjoy and which gets the heart pumping. Do this at least four times a week and you will reap the benefits.
Cut Down on Smoking and Alcohol
If you smoke, you should give that up outright because there are zero benefits and a lot of harm that can be done to the body, including the brain, from smoking. When it comes to alcohol, things get a little more complicated because there are some signs that small quantities of alcohol could be good for the brain, while drinking more than 2-3 glasses of wine each week could hasten the decline of brain cells. So, if you do drink, drink moderately and be sure to have at least a couple of days off. Oh, and if you can, make it red wine which contains polyphenols that are thought to be beneficial.
Feed Your head
A good diet, particularly one that is high in omega-3 oils, fruits and vegetables will feed your brain and help to keep it functioning optimally. You can treat yourself occasionally, but the less sugar and hydrogenated fats you take in, the better it will be for your brain and your body as a whole.
Whether you do crossword puzzles, play chess or even visit the local escape room, keeping your brain active by doing puzzles and solving problems is a major key to keeping that pesky organ in your head as healthy as possible. Even just reading a book for 10 minutes every day will help you to stay mentally alert if you’re strapped for time.
If you isolate yourself and you get lonely, your brain is not as active as it could or should be and this can lead to your cells dying off faster than they would if you were happy and engaged with your social circle. So, schedule regular hangouts with friends and family - it’s good for your brain.
As we get older, our organs do face some decline, but when it comes to the brain, there’s plenty you can do to minimize any losses and stay healthy, happy and alert for longer.