Maintaining a Healthy Brain

Maintaining a Healthy Brain

Maintaining a Healthy Brain

It is impossible to predict the future. Despite this fact, we can often act in such a way to bring about a desirable outcome in the future. As we age, our bodies change, and, as a result, our experiences of the world also changes. Aging and its effects on our bodies are inevitable, but these changes do not always have to be negative. In this blog, we want to focus on one part of our body and how we can take care of it as we age. We are referring to our brains.

Our brains are the powerhouses of our bodies. An unhealthy brain, means an unhealthy body. Although our brain does function somewhat differently in old age, we should not expect it to decline dramatically. Disease like Alzheimer’s are an unnatural part of aging—it should not be happening. Unfortunately, there are often genetic, historical, and other health factors out of our control. However, we can focus on some things that we do have control over to ensure that our brains maintain their health over time.

Leading a healthy lifestyle can mean many different things. We will go over what “living healthily” looks like:

  • Getting enough sleep: Perhaps one of the most important things to be aware of is your sleep. Sleeping a good 7 to 9 hours a night helps many other parts of your health fall into place. Good sleep can restore your energy, improve your mood, help you regulate your weight, as well as preserve your mental health. Sleeping less than seven hours a night has been linked to an increase risk of dementia in old age.[1]
  • Eating healthy: According to a Harvard Medical School letter, a good diet for your brain is a diet that is also good for your heart and blood vessels.[2] In the letter, they recommend eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats (like fish), unsaturated fats (like olive oil), and vitamins and minerals. The best way to ensure you are getting enough vegetables and fruit is to have at least one serving of them with every meal. Try to make your plates colorful, meaning you should have different colored vegetables and fruits so you can get a diverse array of important vitamins.
  • Exercise: Depending on your abilities, you should start an exercise routine. To begin, try taking walks around the neighborhood. Incorporate more exercises as you progress over time. A combination of weightlifting and cardio will provide the most benefits. Always consult a doctor before starting any exercise routine.
  • Learning: Keep your brain engaged with activities that stimulate your mind, like puzzles, learning new tasks, or reading. There are so many ways to keep your mind engaged, just be creative! Find a mentally stimulating hobby that you love and prioritize it. If you like to paint, set aside time on the weekends to paint. If you like to learn languages, see if your community offers language tables where you can practice with others. Learning may not prevent degenerative neurological disorders, but they are correlated with fewer symptoms in old age.[3]
  • Prioritize mental health: Do not let stress overwhelm you. If you are overly stressed, anxious, or depressed, then you should speak with a counselor who can help you find strategies and coping mechanisms to manage difficulties. Additionally, following the above steps can promote better mental health, especially sleeping enough every night.

If you have any other questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website!

[1] Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/better-habits-better-brain-health

[2] Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/better-habits-better-brain-health

[3] Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2016/04/14/7-habits-that-may-actually-change-the-brain-according-to-science/#554da14b5917

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