Guest post by George Mears of Brain Wellness
As we age, our brains break down little by little just as our bodies do. Without proper care, a lack of strong bonds between cells can become dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, so it’s important to know the right ways to ensure your brain is in good shape. It’s never too early to start thinking about making positive lifestyle changes, and studies have shown that a combination of a good diet, exercise, social interaction, and keeping the brain engaged and active will help it stay healthy well into a person’s senior years.
Here are some of the best ways to make sure your brain is in the best shape possible.
Get in a workout
Daily exercise is great for so many things that it’s a necessity, especially if you’re over 35. Getting in a workout of at least 30 minutes each day will ensure you get your heart rate up, and it can also boost your mood, lift your energy level, and keep you in wonderful shape. Exercise is the best way to get oxygen-rich blood to your brain, which could stimulate the production of new cells and strengthen bonds between the old ones.
Watch that diet
If you exercise every day, you likely won’t have to worry about indulging in a big piece of chocolate cake now and then, but it’s helpful to watch your diet simply for the sheer amount of brain-healthy vitamins that can be found in some foods. Dark, leafy greens, tuna, nuts, and many fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of the nutrients you need to keep your mind strong.
Finding ways to keep your brain engaged will also keep it healthy. It’s important to keep reading, do word puzzles, play card games, and commit to lifetime learning no matter what your age is. Making trips to the library often will help you foster a good reading list and keep you taking in information on many different topics.
Staying engaged socially is great for your brain health, so get involved in your community or make it a point to keep a standing weekly lunch date with a good friend. Make plans with family members, volunteer at the local animal shelter, or take up a new hobby that will allow you to meet new people.
Get some rest
Your brain won’t be at it’s best unless you make sure you get enough sleep, and make sure it’s good sleep. That means turning off all screens–televisions, smartphones, laptops–at least an hour before bedtime, as they can interfere with the quality of your rest and even keep you awake. Set a bedtime and stick to it, and if you find you have trouble falling asleep right away, try relaxing things just before lights out, such as a hot bath or shower, lavender oil, or meditation.
Also, try to keep your home as clean and organized as possible. Creating a clean space helps reduce stress and improve focus. HomeAdvisor offers some ideas on how you can redesign your bedroom for improved sleep.
Protect your heart Your heart health is tied to your brain health, so make sure you keep it in good shape. Exercise and a good diet will go a long way, but it’s also important to limit alcohol intake and, if you’re a smoker, commit to quitting right away.