Lifestyle has a profound impact on your brain health
Six Pillars of Brain Health
What you eat and drink, how much you exercise, how well you sleep, the way you socialise, and how you manage stress are all critically important for your brain health. Adopting a lifestyle to keep your brain healthy, preserves your memory and prevents brain diseases, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and stroke.
1. Food & Nutrition
BRAIN HEALTHY DIET. You are what you eat. As you grow older, your brain is exposed to more harmful stress due to lifestyle and environmental factors, resulting in a process called oxidation, which damages brain cells. Rust on the handlebars of a bike or a partially eaten apple gives you an idea of the kind of damage oxidation can cause to your brain. Food rich in antioxidants can help fend off the harmful effects of oxidation in your brain.
2. Physical Exercise
GET YOUR BODY MOVING. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells and improves blood flow to the brain. It stimulates chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning, memory, mood and thinking.
3. Medical Health
REDUCE MEDICAL RISKS. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, head trauma, and smoking all increase the risk of dementia. You can control and reduce these risks. Get an annual check-up with your doctor, follow their recommendations and take medications as prescribed. Get engaged in a brain healthy lifestyle for your body and your brain.
4. Sleep and Relaxation
REST AND RESTORE. Sleep energizes you, improves your mood and your immune system, and reduces the buildup in the brain of toxic proteins that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Get 7-9 hours sleep a night by adopting a regular sleep-wake cycle. Be rested by practicing meditation and reducing stress to help fend off age-related decline in brain health.
5. Mental Fitness
DEVELOP A CURIOUS MIND. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise in keeping your brain fit and healthy. Challenging and purposeful mental activities, like learning a new language or musical instrument, improve your brain’s functioning and promote new brain cell growth, decreasing your likelihood of developing dementia. You have to use your brain or it loses its strength and abilities.
6. Social Interaction
STAY CONNECTED. Leading an active social life can protect you against memory loss. Spending time with others, engaging in stimulating conversation, and staying in touch and connected with family and friends are good for your brain health. People with the most social interaction in their life experience the slowest rate of memory decline.