Many people know that physical activity is a great way to care for the body. Not many people think to exercise the brain. Keeping your brain strong is a great way to support healthy aging. Here are 10 ways to maintain the health of your brain:
1. Head first – Good health starts with your brain. It’s one of the most vital body organs, and it needs care and maintenance.
2. Take brain health to heart – What’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Do something every day to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke — all of which can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
3. Your numbers count – Keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges.
4. Feed your brain – Research suggests that a diet rich in dark vegetables and fruits may help protect brain cells. Eat less fat and more antioxidant-rich foods.
5. Work your body – Physical exercise keeps the blood flowing to the brain and may encourage new brain cells. Walking just 30 minutes a day can help keep both body and mind active.
6. Jog your mind – Keeping your brain active and engaged strengthens brain cells and the connections between them, and may even trigger growth of new cells. Read, write, play games, learn new things, and do crossword puzzles.
7. Connect with others – Leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social elements may be most likely to prevent dementia. Be social, converse, volunteer, join a club or take a class.
8. Heads up! Protect your brain – Take precautions against head injuries. Always wear a seat belt; unclutter your house to avoid falls; and wear a helmet when cycling.
9. Use your head – Avoid unhealthy habits. Don’t smoke, drink excessive alcohol or use street drugs.
10. Think ahead – start today! – You can do something today to protect your tomorrow.