Every brain changes with age, and mental function can change along with it. Mental decline or mental deterioration is common, and yet it is one of the most feared consequences for aging adults. For this reason, improving brain health should be a priority when you enter your 30s and 40s.
Importance of a Healthy Brain
As human beings, we rely on our brains for a lot of things. The brain is what we use to pay attention to our surroundings, experience our senses, and learn and remember and information. It is what helps us to solve problems, allows us to concentrate, communicate, and much more. Having clear, sharp thinking is what makes us excel at school, work, and in life.
As we age, our mental sharpness may fluctuate day by day. Environmental factors such as stress and illnesses can affect our brainpower. How we treat our physical health matters, too. Like any other organ, we have to put in the work to keep our brains healthy. Do you know what it takes to maximise brainpower?
While we cannot put our brains on treadmills or train them with dumbbells, there are ways we can do to keep the brain fit. Even if you are young, sharp, and clear-headed today, these tips can help strengthen your mental function in the long run.
Tips to Boost Your Brain Power
Engage in regular exercise and move more
Exercising and doing physical activity helps increase blood flow and oxygen. The more blood and oxygen the brain gets, the more nourishment it can supply to the connecting cells. Research shows that people who engage in regular exercise are more likely to have better cognitive skills and memory when they grow old.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity every day. You can enrol in a yoga class, do a short hike, or walk around the neighborhood.
Get enough rest and sleep
The quality and quantity of sleep and rest you receive every night are better for brain health. Sleep helps improve one’s focus, soothe negative emotions and helps strengthen memories.
The recommended hours of sleep for a normal adult are seven to nine hours a night. If you are having trouble getting that, try reducing artificial light before bedtime. Also, do not consume caffeinated drinks near your bedtime.
Keep in touch
Socialising or connecting with others strips off feelings of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Social isolation is a serious issue and can lead to mental decline. Thus, it is important to keep in touch with your family, friends, coworkers, and community. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can keep in touch virtually and through social media.
Stock up on brain food
It is true that you are what you eat. According to AHA, eating healthily can improve your overall health, including the heart and brain. Your food pyramid should include plenty of produce, lean meats, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
A healthy diet can translate into better cognitive function, memory, and alertness.
Get mental stimulation
Mentally stimulating activities strengthen connections between nerve cells and can help the brain in generating new cells. These play an important role in building up a functional reserve that protects against future cell loss.
You can read, take courses, and try mental gymnastics to build up your brain. Answer word puzzles, solve math problems or experiment with things that require mental effort.
Care for your emotions
Good mental health is certainly an important goal to keep your brain healthy. People who are often anxious, depressed, or exhausted are at an increased risk of mental decline in old age.
Protect your head
Moderate to severe head injuries, even without diagnosed concussions, can increase the risk of mental impairment. Learn first aid to recognise signs and symptoms of head injury. Know how to provide first aid treatment if the situation requires it.
The human brain is an amazing organ. To help it achieve peak performance for a longer time, follow the tips we mentioned above. Take care of your brain, learn first for head or brain injuries and see your primary care provider.
Remember, a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.