Caring for Brain Health Every Day
By Stepy Kamei
We all understandably worry about our cognitive health as we age, considering there are so many issues we should be worried about: Alzheimer's, dementia, and a general decline in our ability to recall important information as time goes on. Cognitive decline and impairment is one of the most significant causes of serious health issues within people of the aging population, but there are steps you can take, at any age, to reduce your risk of developing these kinds of health concerns. Taking care of your brain now can make for a much easier transition into senior citizenship. All you need to do is make sure you're incorporating a few healthy habits into your everyday routine for optimal brain health and wellness.
Stay Physically Active
This should be a no-brainer (pun intended), but it's important enough to mention as often as possible. As you've no doubt heard hundreds of times, exercise is simply one of the most important things you can do to improve your health, and this goes for the health of your brain as well. Health experts want you to be able to fit in a minimum of three 30-minute workouts per week, alternating between cardio and strength training exercises. However, at the very least, simply going for walks once a day or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevators at work are simple ways to add more fitness into your lifestyle.
Eat a Clean Diet
Unfortunately, the Western diet is a diet that's high in processed foods, sugar, fat, and artificial ingredients. This is a diet that's not too great for brain health. Make sure you're getting enough whole grains, fresh produce, legumes, and lean protein to feed your mind and body. Foods with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, chia seeds, and leafy greens will help improve brain function as well.
Challenge Yourself Mentally
It's important to stay mentally stimulated throughout your life, even long after you've graduated from school. You can delve into such endeavors as learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, knitting, or even doing a crossword puzzle every day to help you stay sharp and focused well into the twilight years.
Keep up an Active Social Life
There's something to be said about enjoying a quiet night in from time to time, but be sure you're keeping up your relationships with friends and family as well. Go out to dinner, take a hike together, or play a board game with some of your favorite people for an enriching experience, both physically as well as mentally.