Often, we get so caught up in our daily lives and stresses that we fail to consider the toll it all takes on the brain. Keeping the mind active, engaged, and healthy is extremely important at any age because it could help prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in the future, yet so many of us fail to think about the consequences of ignoring brain health.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to keep your brain in excellent shape, and it’s easy to make a few lifestyle changes that will ensure you stay sharp for years to come. Here are some of the best ways to do just that.
Your brain health is tied to how healthy your body is, so it’s imperative that you take care of your heart and keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels where they need to be. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity can all contribute to lessened functions all over the body, so be sure to have regular checkups with your doctor. Along with that…
Eating a balanced diet every day is great for your entire body and can help you stay in shape, but it can also have an effect on your brain. Cutting back on red meat and sugar and making a point to eat dark, leafy greens, fish, nuts, and a variety of fruits and veggies will keep you feeling good and will ensure you’re getting the right amount of vitamins necessary for good brain function.
With the stresses of life and work, it’s important to take time out to have fun. Playing word games, doing crossword puzzles, and engaging in card or board games will help you keep your mind sharp and allow you to relax a little. Stress is thought to contribute to brain function, so find time to put your worries aside and just play.
Practicing self-care is another stress-buster, so think of healthy ways you can make yourself happy and practice them daily or weekly. Indulge in a long, hot bath, take time to read a good book, play a game of basketball with friends after work, or treat yourself to a long lunch. Relaxing with a glass or two of red wine is okay too, just make sure you limit your alcohol intake to two drinks.
Staying active also means being social and engaging with other people, so make plans with friends or family, get involved with your church or volunteer at a local shelter, or take up a new hobby that will allow you to spend time with others and make new friends. Having a strong social life can help you reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and live longer.
No matter what your age, it’s important to read, write, and keep learning every day in order to keep your brain active. Keep a journal or start a pen pal exchange with a friend, give yourself a to-read goal for the year, and watch documentaries, plays, and other informative shows to keep your mind sharp.
You have a lot of knowledge to share with the world. Whether you show your grandchild how to garden, mentor someone in your former career field, or tutor students, find ways to share what you know. The interaction will be a great opportunity for socialization, will keep you thinking, and will likely turn into a chance for you to learn a little something as well.