Maintaining a healthy brain

Simple steps that will help you look after your brain.

Maintaining a healthy brain

For a healthy life you need to look after your brain. Once you reach middle age, the emphasis on maintaining a healthy brain becomes more important, but it’s never too late to improve your brain health. The first and most important steps are to get your body and heart in order.

Scientific research suggests that leading a brain healthy life may reduce a person's risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and may also minimise the onset of dementia later in life.

Our brain should be considered as our most precious asset and making sure it is well nourished and looked after should be a priority for us all. Much of what can be done to improve brain health can be undertaken easily during everyday life. The five main steps to a healthy brain are:

Look after your heart
There is a connection between heart health and brain health. The risk of developing dementia increases as a result of conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels.

Get physically active
Exercise gives our brains a healthy boost. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, stimulates the growth of brain cells and the connections between them and is associated with larger brain volume.

Challenge your brain
Challenging the brain with new activities helps to build new brain cells and strengthen connections between them. This helps to give it the ability to cope better and keep working properly if any brain cells are damaged or die.

Have a healthy diet
What you eat can affect your brain, because it needs a range of nutrients to function properly. A healthy, balanced diet helps in maintaining brain health and may also be able to reduce the risk of dementia.

Get out and about – be sociable
Being sociable has benefits that reach far wider than improved cognitive functioning. Social activity increases mental stimulation and may contribute to building brain reserve, which then contributes to a lower dementia risk. Social activities that involve both mental and physical activity, such as dancing and team sports, provide even greater benefit for brain health and can even help to reduce depression.

Your brain’s fitness program doesn’t stop there. There are several strategies you can use to enhance and sharpen your mind, some of them are:

  • Keep learning: through study, actively pursuing a new hobby, volunteering for a project, learning a new skill or a new language.
  • Use all your senses: challenge your sense of smell, touch, sight and sound. The more senses you use when learning something, the more likely you are to remember.
  • Believe in yourself: if you believe you can improve and put that into practice, you have a much better chance at keeping your mind sharp.
  • Prioritise your brain use: not having to use mental energy to remember where you’ve put your keys or glasses means more brain power for remembering and concentrating on more important things in your life. Make good use of calendars, planners, diaries and lists and have a place for everything.
  • Repeat what you want to know: when you hear something which you want to remember, write it down, say it out loud or repeat it three times in your head. It will help.
  • Space it out: repetition is your most powerful ally when it comes to remembering things, but too much information too quickly is no good for anyone.

Read more at Your Brain Matters
Read more at Harvard Health Publications





    COMMENTS

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    Dukki
    10th Oct 2014
    10:30am
    The brain is acmarvellous instrument, n not enough people do enough to protect. N enciphers get it's growth, in short we take it git granted
    . I hve Parkinsins disease yet I still train my. Rain to the best of my ability, n therefor I'm doing ok,
    biddi
    10th Oct 2014
    11:10am
    Well done Dukki! Have a great day!
    particolor
    10th Oct 2014
    11:55am
    Onya Dukki !!
    moke
    10th Oct 2014
    4:16pm
    Use it or Loose it your doing great Dukki Congratulations
    ozimarco
    10th Oct 2014
    12:08pm
    For those who would like to train their brain by learning a new language such as Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc., I highly recommend Duolingo (www.duolingo.com). This program, which is totally free as well as being free of advertising, takes you to a very high level at your own pace. It is interactive and teaches you to read, write, speak and understand the spoken language. You can put the program on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, so there is no excuse not to do your daily 15 minutes or whatever it is you choose to do. Best of all, this program is fun! It keeps you informed of your progress from day to day and makes it easy to maintain your motivation. Give it a go! It won't cost you a cent. You will be absolutely amazed how quickly you can learn a new language this way even if you now think that you are no good at languages.
    Incognito
    11th Oct 2014
    12:43am
    Thanks for your information I have wanted to know about these types of websites and get my teenage son and I to learn Italian in honor of my late father.
    Polly Esther
    10th Oct 2014
    12:20pm
    Why is this article headlined with a picture of a cauliflower sliced in half?
    particolor
    10th Oct 2014
    12:30pm
    I thought this was a Recipe for Caulie Au Gratin ??
    Blossom
    13th Oct 2014
    5:03pm
    The cauliflower doesn't look very healthy either.
    Maybe they think they are depicting the middle of your brain
    particolor
    13th Oct 2014
    5:21pm
    I think it is the Brain from someone who was under 2 Minds ??
    Happy cyclist
    10th Oct 2014
    12:58pm
    Good advice but missing one very important fact -- stop eating sugar. Sugar is lethal for the brain, it rots the brain. You don't have to do much Google research to read all about how sugar is poison for the brain. I doubt anyone will ever cut it out completely, but its easy to cut our sugar intake drastically because there is so much of it in processed food. Everytime you substitute processed food for fresh. I did about 18 months ago, I wasn't heavy by any standard but lost 7 kgs over 3-4 weeks and more importantly my brain fog lifted (somewhat).
    Young Simmo
    10th Oct 2014
    11:30pm
    I have a problem with my brain work-out routine. I put in the odd minute in front of the puter to keep my brain alive, and my wife keeps telling me, the car needs washing, the lawn needs mowing, the rubbish needs putting out, etc, etc. I keep saying, yes in a minute love.
    When we finally climb into bed I say boy, it's been another long hard day, and she says, don't tell me you have got saw fingers again.
    particolor
    11th Oct 2014
    8:16am
    Looks like poor Simmo has SAWED His fingers off ??
    Incognito
    11th Oct 2014
    12:49am
    We spend time trying to be physically healthy and forget to look after the brain. I think feeding it well with good food is very important, there are many vitamins and minerals that are specific for the brain but many lack these due to the over processed dead food they eat.
    Young Simmo
    11th Oct 2014
    12:55am
    musicveg, you seem to have a clue about all this stuff, do you happen to know how many vitamins and minerals there are in VB, EB and Swan Export, because that is what I am using at the moment.
    particolor
    11th Oct 2014
    8:20am
    I looked up Possum Pee and there isn't enough Vitamins in it to Kick start a Sloth !!
    Young Simmo
    13th Oct 2014
    5:33pm
    Is anybody else getting these stupid mental retard Google surveys every time they come in here or is it only me.
    SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO STOP THIS UTTER RUBBISH FROM GOOGLE.
    particolor
    13th Oct 2014
    5:45pm
    Fill them in with Misinformation Simmo !! Not a Problem !!


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