Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young
Cognitive decline is one of the most feared aspects of aging. Yes your brain will change over time, but there are definitely ways to keep your brain young and to help prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
Read below to learn some of the best ways to keep your brain young:
1. Get physical
Exercise is good for literally everything, and it is especially good for your brain. Exercise boosts blood flow and oxygen directly to your brain and also releases neurotransmitters that keep you alert, focused, and make you feel good – all of which are important for brain health.
Put it into action: Aim to get at least 10,000 steps everyday and limit sitting time as much as possible.
2. Limit sugar
Consumption of sugar is highly inflammatory for the body and for the brain, and inflammation in the brain is associated with cognitive decline.
Put it into action: Limit added sugar to less than 25 grams per day. Also stick to low sugar fruits such as berries and limit consumption of high sugar fruits such as mangos.
3. Limit processed foods
Processed foods are also highly inflammatory for the body and are strongly linked to cognitive decline. Processed foods include anything packaged or anything that has more than one or two ingredients.
Put it into action: Stick to one-ingredient foods such as beans, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and eggs. Cut back on packaged foods, such as cookies, frozen dinners, and granola bars.
4. Maintain social ties
Strong ties to friends and/or family is associated with a healthier brain and decreased risk of mental decline.
Put it into action: Make a point to keep in contact with loved ones.
5. Do puzzles
Games that make you think such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles are all great for helping to prevent cognitive decline.
Put it into action: Download an app on your phone or grab the newspaper and put your brain to work.
6. Limit alcohol
Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption is a must for brain health. Drinking too much on the regular is highly linked to cognitive decline and dementia.
Put it into action: Limit your alcohol consumption to 0-2 drinks per day and avoid binge drinking.
7. Don’t smoke
Smoking is one of the very worst things you can do to your body, most notably the brain. Smoking is highly linked to cognitive decline and dementia.
Put it into action: Just say no to cigarettes, and quit now if you do smoke.
8. Mental health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health because chronic stress and depression are linked to dementia and cognitive decline.
Put it into action: Check in with yourself from time to time and take note how you are feeling. Two of the best ways to help prevent depression and stress include exercising daily and eating healthy.
9. Adequate sleep
Sleep deprivation causes immediate decline in memory, attention, and focus – if you’ve ever had a bad sleep then you know the feeling is not good! Overtime chronic sleep deprivation can lead to cognitive decline.
Put it into action: Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Count backwards from when you need to get up to know when you need to go to bed.
10. Healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for many reasons, one of them being brain health. Obesity is linked with a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Put it into action: All of the above tips will help to keep you at a healthy weight. Start making steps to a healthier weight today!
It’s never too late or too early to start taking care of your brain. Use the above tips to keep your brain young – your future self will thank you 🙂
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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