Strengthening your body is so important. But along with the body, the brain needs to be strengthened as well. So what are some ways we can strengthen the brain? Mayo Clinic gives five ways to keep the brain healthy in an article from June of 2020. These are some take-aways I have highlighted from the article.
Mayo Clinic’s 5 Tips to Keep Your Brain Healthy:
- Exercise regularly: Exercise has many known benefits, and it appears that regular physical activity benefits the brain. Multiple research studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function and have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
It is believed that these benefits are a result of increased blood flow to your brain during exercise. It also tends to counter some of the natural reduction in brain connections that occur during aging, in effect reversing some of the problems. Aim to exercise several times per week for 30–60 minutes.
- Get plenty of sleep: Sleep plays an important role in your brain health. There are some theories that sleep helps clear abnormal proteins in your brain and consolidates memories, which boosts your overall memory and brain health.
It is important that you try to get seven to eight consecutive hours of sleep per night. Consecutive sleep gives your brain the time to consolidate and store your memories effectively.
- Eat a healthy diet: Your diet plays a large role in your brain health. Emphasis should be on plant-based foods, whole grains, fish, lean meats, and healthy fats, such as olive oil. The omega fatty acids found in extra-virgin olive oil and other healthy fats are vital for your cells to function correctly, appear to decrease your risk of coronary artery disease, and increase mental focus and slow cognitive decline in older adults.
- Stay mentally active: Your brain is similar to a muscle — you need to use it or you lose it. There are many things that you can do to keep your brain in shape, such as doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku, reading, playing cards or putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Consider it cross-training your brain. So incorporate different activities to increase the effectiveness.
- Remain socially involved: Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to connect with loved ones, friends and others, especially if you live alone. There is research that links solitary confinement to brain atrophy, so remaining socially active may have the opposite effect and strengthen the health of your brain.
Here are a few more suggestions from “Brain games for the elderly that improve mental health and memory” from November 20, 2017.
- Arts and Crafts
- Word puzzles
- Online games
- Logic puzzles
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Trivia Games
- Learn a new language
- Brain games on the computer or phone
With just a few changes, you can make brain health a priority…And keep you All Over Strong!
Stay happy, healthy, and positive always!
BONUS!! Fun Game: Stroop effect, where the right and left brain try to contradict the other side for the answer;)