Supporting Brain Health for Better Overall Health
By Stepy Kamei
If you want to stay sharp, focused, and clear on a consistent basis, and especially as you move into your golden years, you'll want to start learning how to take care of brain health sooner rather than later. Cognitive decline and impairment is one of the most significant causes of serious health issues in 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.
This should be a no-brainer (pun intended), but it's important enough to mention as often as possible. 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. Ideally, you'll 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.
A diet that's high in processed foods, sugar, fat, and artificial ingredients 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.
It's important to stay mentally stimulated throughout your life, even long after you've hung up your cap and gown. Learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, knitting, or even doing a crossword puzzle every day can help you stay sharp and focused well into the twilight years.
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.