Brain’s health is essential to entire well-being. It underpins your ability to communicate, make decisions, solve problems, and lead a valuable and productive life.
The brain is undoubtedly the most valuable organ in the human body because it governs daily activities. Maintaining a healthy brain will allow you to keep your mind clear and active so you can work, rest, and play.
The seven pillars of brain health are listed below to stay sharp in senior years. These suggestions can help increase neurotransmitter health and the production of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which can contribute to a longer, healthier life.
1. Regular Exercise
Three times a week, at least 30 minutes of exercise is mandatory. Exercise improves brain oxygenation, improves brain waste removal, and stimulates the motor and sensory systems.
Regular physical activity is helpful to the brain. According to studies, physically active people are less likely to deteriorate and have a lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise also helps lose weight, prevents diabetes, and decreases blood pressure.
During the workout, the brain is also operating. If the brain isn’t getting oxygen from exercise and cleaning its garbage regularly, it’s likely to increase the chances of disease and aging.
In addition, a better diet combined with physical activity improves blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, all of which are important for optimal brain function.
2. A healthy diet
Diet has a meaningful impact on brain health. A well-balanced diet can benefit both mind and body. Natural, fresh produce is minimal in sugar.
Fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy oils such as those found in olives, fish, nuts, and avocados can all assist in protecting the brain. The Mediterranean diet can help to keep your brain in good shape.
It emphasizes healthy fats like olive oil, plant-based meals, whole grains, and fish. It has a lower amount of red meat and salt than the average diet. As a result, persons who follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not.
However, we know that omega fatty acids present in extra-virgin olive oil and other good fats are essential for cell function, appear to lower the risk of coronary heart disease and improve mental focus.
A healthy cardiovascular system is required for a healthy brain. Even if you don’t have diabetes, high blood sugar can put you at risk for dementia. In addition, one should avoid overly sweetened meals like sodas and candy.
Eating authentic, unprocessed foods and eating a diet rich in unsaturated fats (found in fish and olive oil), fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and legumes while avoiding the harmful fats found in processed pastries, cakes, and fried meals are recommended.
Omega fatty acids, found in walnuts and fish, aid in forming new brain cells and have a role in learning and memory. Natural antioxidants found in berries, tomatoes, kidney beans, and oranges help reduce inflammation and increase brain cell communication.
2. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking raises your chances of getting heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. According to studies, people who smoked ten to twenty cigarettes per day had a 44 percent higher risk of dementia.
It’s challenging to quit smoking, but it can help your brain stay sharp and healthy. Brain scans found both current and former smokers had a thinner cortex — the brain area responsible for memory, language, and perception – in research of over 500 smokers, ex-smokers, and non-smokers.
Although the cortex thins with age, smoking appears to hasten this process. Quitting smoking can help restore cortical thickness slowly but steadily.
As we become older, drinking has a more significant impact on our bodies. However, too much alcohol can raise the risk of dementia.
Experts recommend that ladies have one drink per day and men have two drinks per day. Moderate alcohol use, up to 14 units per week as recommended which may aid to avoid memory loss.
3. Keeping Mind Stimulated
Keep your heart in good shape. Your brain is like a muscle: you’ll lose it if you don’t use it. One can keep the brain in shape by playing puzzles, Sudoku, reading detective books, playing cards, chess, or other activities.
All these activities can boost efficiency and are considered mental cross-training. Games and puzzles are a lot of fun. However, volunteer and social activities that keep you independent and engaged with friends and family should also be considered.
Learn new computer skills, join a board, a reading club, or a dance organization, or experiment with gardening, crafts, or cooking. Reading or solving puzzles can give the brain an excellent exercise as well.
Finally, avoid excessive television viewing because it is a passive pastime that does little to excite your mind.
4. Prevent Falls
Falls can result in a concussion, fractured bones, or other injuries that result in a gradual or rapid loss of function.
Balance and strength workouts can help you prevent falling. Also, keep an eye out for tripping hazards such as uneven walking surfaces and wires.
Wear good-soled shoes or slippers. Walking barefoot or with stocking feet is not a good idea.
5. Sleep well
It’s mandatory to get the proper amount of rest. Brain health is influenced by how well one sleeps. Sleep helps the brain eliminate aberrant proteins and consolidate memories, improving overall memory and brain health.
It is essential to have seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Consistent sleep allows the brain to consolidate and remember memories more effectively.
While sleeping, many things go in our minds. For example, many people feel that dreams are a mechanism for our brains to process daily information. On the other side, if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re not going to be at your best.
Sleep deprivation can affect hormone synthesis and memory formation, so plenty of rest to stay best is necessary. In addition, sleep deprivation has been related to slower thinking and an increased risk of dementia.
6. Stay Social and Manage Stress
Hormones released during times of stress have a more significant influence on older brains, making it more difficult to recover from emotional upheaval. So go carefully with the changes and learn to cope with anxiety and tension.
Chronic stress can cause an overproduction of myelin (the insulating coating around your nerves) and the hormone cortisol, causing structural changes in your brain and stem cell dysfunction. Close relationships with people are essential for a happy, healthy life, and they may even help live longer.
It’s also vital for brain health. Studies suggest that loneliness may have a role in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Socializing with people from different backgrounds or generations can also be beneficial. And, while keeping connected online isn’t ideal, it might be helpful when one lives in a remote location with few social resources. Learning how to utilize social media for the first time might also aid with remembering.
While it’s not always possible to avoid stressful events, it’s essential to have a strategy to manage and lessen your stress. Examples are relaxation techniques, learning to say no, and keeping a stress journal.
Depression and stress can lead to memory loss which can be cured by social engagement. Everyone should look for opportunities to connect with loved ones, friends, and others, which can benefit mental health.
Strong social bondings are associated with lower blood pressure, a lower risk of dementia, and a higher life expectancy.
7. Keep Learning
Learning new things can stimulate the growth of new neurons in your brain. It is essential in retirement because one should be connected in some way.
Brain health also requires social interaction, new interactions, and stimulating conversations.
Just because you graduated from high school a long time ago doesn’t mean you can’t continue to learn. According to the survey, neurons that help keep brain cells working at their fullest are activated by learning.
This process is linked to theta rhythms, learning-related brain rhythms that aid in memory encoding.
The brain adapts to what we’ve learned and experienced throughout our lives. New connections are formed in a healthy brain.
As we get older, particularly as we approach middle age, changes in the brain can begin to occur, resulting in a gradual loss of mental capacities.
It is referred to as age-related cognitive decline, and it causes people to become increasingly forgetful and mentally sluggish. As a result, while brain health is crucial at any age, it gets increasingly important as we become older.
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