The brain is a muscle, and like any other muscle in the body, it needs a constant workout to stay strong. Also, like any other muscle in your body, your brain grows used to certain “exercises” and, after a while, stops responding to them. For instance, when you do the same things every day — wake up, go to work, come home, sleep — the brain doesn’t need to work to get you through the day. This type of complacency causes the brain to grow weak, which can lead to cognitive issues such as memory loss, poor concentration, mood swings and other issues commonly associated with old age. The good news is, you can avoid cognitive decline as you age by working your brain daily. Use the following brain health tips as inspiration.
- Never Stop Learning
Studies show that brain activities such as reading, writing, taking courses, or playing word or number puzzles stimulate new connections between nerve cells in the brain. Such activities may even help to generate new brain cells, which would mean more neurological plasticity and a lowered risk for future cell loss. However, to reap the benefits of mental stimulation, make sure to experiment with new things and try to incorporate activities that require both mental effort and manual dexterity.
- Take Care of Your Emotional Health
Though emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation do not necessarily mean you will experience cognitive decline in old age, studies do show that people who live with these disorders tend to score lower on cognitive tests than emotionally stable individuals. Take care of your emotions as best you can, and get a good night’s sleep each night.
- Exercise Your Other Muscles
Physical activity leads to several health benefits, including but not limited to muscle strength, better heart health, more flexibility, lower blood pressure, and better blood circulation. It makes sense then that exercise would be good for your brain. Studies reveal that physical exercise releases the feel-good endorphins and thereby helps to combat stress, depression, and anxiety. Ideally, you should get either two and a half hours each week of moderately intense exercise or one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous physical activity.
- Eat Nutritious Foods
As a parent, you’re constantly encouraging your children to eat their fruits and veggies, but as an adult, you likely fail to eat your daily serving of either food group. If you want to keep your brain sharp, it’s essential that you eat the recommended servings of fruits and veggies each day. Both fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that play a key role in maintaining brain function and mental agility. If you haven’t been eating right, now is a good time to start doing so.
- Stay Hydrated
There are countless reasons to drink the recommended eight glasses of water each day, one of which is that it helps keep your brain in the game. Not only can dehydration cause the brain to feel sluggish, but also, it can cause headaches and even mood swings. If you regularly feel agitated and confused for no discernible reason, drink a glass of water.
- Protect Your Head
You cannot always predict when an injury will occur, but in instances in which there is the possibility of sustaining a bump on the head, wear the proper headgear. For instance, if you partake in contact sports, wear a helmet. Before you go on a bike ride, wear a helmet. If you plan to play a game of baseball, wear a helmet. Head injuries, no matter how seemingly minor, often lead to brain injuries, which can alter the way your brain functions and lead to cognitive decline.
- Monitor Your Blood Pressure
Life will not always be smooth sailing, and there will be events that cause your blood pressure to rise. However, try to maintain a lifestyle with as few stressors as possible, and take time each day to do something that relaxes you. Whether that means visiting a spa, taking a walk along the beach, or reading a good book, do it, as doing so will help you maintain a balanced blood pressure level. Some other things you can do include eating right, exercising regularly and limiting your alcohol intake to two drinks a day.
- Don’t Abuse Alcohol
Speaking of alcohol…Studies show a strong connection between excessive alcohol use and dementia. Again, try to limit your alcohol intake to just one to two drinks per day.
- Avoid Tobacco
Tobacco, in any form, is bad for your whole-body health and your brain health. Do not smoke, chew, dip or vape if you hope to maintain or boost your brain health.
- Stay Social
There are countless benefits of maintaining an active social life as you age. For one, people who maintain active social lives tend to be happier and live longer. Two, having a strong social network can help reduce stress and feelings of isolation. Three, the shared learning experiences of friends and loved ones exercise the brain and reduce the risk of memory decline.
- Maintain Healthy Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels
It’s a widely known fact that diabetes is a major risk factor for dementia. You can prevent diabetes by eating a healthy diet, staying fit, and exercising regularly. What many people do not know is that high levels of LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol, increases a person’s risk for dementia. Again, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, staying at a healthy weight and avoiding tobacco can all help to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level.
It doesn’t hurt to take a week or two to pamper yourself either. To enjoy an abundance of wellness therapies to relax your mind and soul, schedule your visit to Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences today.