The brain is inarguably one of the most important organs of our entire body. Think of it as the body’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). When the CPU (the central part of the computer) overheats or malfunctions, it damages other components such as the hard drives, or it can cause the computer to crash altogether.
Similarly, our brain acts as the body’s control centre, monitoring the internal and external environments and commanding other organs to function accordingly. If it gets damaged, it can compromise the functionality of other organs such as the lungs or the heart. In extreme cases, it can cause paralysis or even death.
The brain executes all the body’s tasks ranging from expressing a particular reaction to a stimulus to every movement made by our limbs. Therefore, it is essential to follow a healthy lifestyle to protect its health and minimize your odds of cognitive decline as you age.
Engage in mind-stimulating activities
Solve that daily crossword puzzle in the newspaper. Paint to your heart’s content. Pick up a new language to learn or take courses that excite you.
Taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill acts as a mental exercise for your brain. Scientists have proven that it helps form new connections among nerve cells (type of cells that act as messengers between the body and brain) and may even help the brain develop new cells.
Include heart-pumping exercises in your daily routine. Go for a run or hike with a friend. Do jumping jacks at home or cycle to work. The possibilities are endless, giving no room to excuses for not making time for adding physical activity to your busy schedule.
Harvard health publishing states that regular exercise improves memory and enhances one’s thinking skills. Another study, by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centerfound, discovered that aerobic exercising (which pumps heart rate and causes sweating) boosts blood flow to the brain. This, in turn, improves the brain’s overall performance.
Get adequate sleep
After a long day at work, you deserve to get some rest. Just as your cellphone needs to be recharged after being used all day long, sleep reboots your exhausted brain.
Thus, getting adequate and regular good quality sleep is essential to the proper functioning of the brain. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine provides recommendations for optimum sleeping durations respective to an individual’s age (click here for more information).
Improve your diet
Making small dietary changes can do wonders. You should include foods such as vegetables, unsaturated oils (olive oil), fish, nuts, fruits and plant sources of proteins in your diet. Many of them have antioxidants that protect the brain from damage and minimize the possibility of cognitive impairment as well as dementia.
Take care of your medical problems
If you suffer from health conditions, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol or diabetes, you can be more susceptible to brain disorders. Hence, you should keep these health issues in check and regularly visit your respective doctors to access the best available treatment. Early treatment can curb the spreading of these conditions, possibly averting any severe brain-related impairment in the future.
There are numerous ways to help support your brain health and boost your memory and sharpness. The bottom line is that you need to constantly strive to make healthier lifestyle choices where you are mentally stimulating your mind and taking care of your physical health.
If you feel like you need a friend to help you navigate these daily activities and achieve specific health goals, feel free to call Annie’s Place. We can help you in various tasks ranging from nutrition planning and meal prepping to accompanying you at doctor’s appointments. We will be there even if you need a company for playing a game of cards!