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How to Keep Your Brain at Its Peak

By Sandy Schroeder

We count on the brain to make our lives work every day, but sometimes we forget to give the brain the care it needs. Just like our muscles, the brain needs maintenance and fuel to perform.

HarvardHealth suggests six smart ways to keep your brain functioning at its peak.

Keep moving - Walk, run, jog or head to the gym to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancer. Staying fit may also reduce the risk of dementia, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Sleep well - A good night’s sleep allows the brain to process memory and absorb new information. Without that 7 to 9 hours of sleep, researchers say the brain often stumbles and performs poorly.

Stimulate thinking - If you want your brain to step up every morning and power through the day, make sure you strengthen the brain muscle with puzzles, games, books, videos and lots of discussion.

Reach out - Make the effort to stay in touch with your family and friends. Daily conversations with your family at the dinner table and at bedtime can make the difference for kids. Their response in school, on the field, and with life in general, depends on you. Let them know you are there and that you care. That’s the best brain food available. At the same time, maintain your network of friends and colleagues. They can provide the perspective that your brain needs. Having a strong network of support can also lower your stress levels. Attention, memory and clarity of thought all benefit from interaction. 

Eat well - Consider the Mediterranean diet of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, seeds and olive oil with less red meat. Researchers say this diet may lower the risk of brain decline and dementia, while improving the heart and protecting the body from some cancers.

Drink moderately - Research shows moderate drinking may lower the risk of mental decline. If you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at dinner, play it safe and limit consumption to no more than two drinks if you are a man or one drink if you are a woman. 

Taking care of your brain does take effort to eat, exercise, connect with others, and limit alcohol, but think about what it would mean if you did not. Enjoy your brain’s amazing power every day and treat it well.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brea, Calif.

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