Your brain is one of the most impressive parts of your body. It does so much for you, from helping you coordinate movements, process information, store your memories, and allow you to feel different emotions.
Your brain will change with age, but just like with other parts of your body, it’s important to take good care of it throughout your life. This can help prevent or delay disease or decline.
There are behaviors and habits that you can implement to benefit your brain function and keep it in shape. Commitment to continuing these is key when it comes to ensuring proper brain health in the long term.
- Plenty of Quality Sleep
One of the main things you can do to ensure your brain stays healthy is to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Getting enough sleep ensures that your brain clears out toxins that can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
In order to guarantee a good night’s rest, you’ll want to start by creating a calming and relaxing space. Looking for the best type of mattress for your needs will ensure a good night’s rest, as well as having proper lighting and enough blankets, so you’re optimally comfortable.
Unplugging from electronics at least 30-60 minutes before you go to bed is another great way to ensure your body gets the rest it needs. If you tend to be a worrier or stress about things before bedtime, consider writing everything down on a piece of paper to get everything out so your mind can be clear for sleep.
Lastly, meditating before bed can be a great way to relax and destress from the day. Even doing just 5-10 minutes before bed can positively impact your sleep quality. You can also leave on white noise at a low volume in the background to help clear your mind for the night and drift off to sleep.
- Engaging in Exercise
It’s no secret that exercise is beneficial to your brain functioning properly. Spending at least 30 minutes a day moving your body is crucial to brain health. You don’t need to be training for a marathon, but even just going for a brisk walk or swimming is enough.
Getting exercise every day helps blood flow to the brain, which in turn positively affects your health overall. There has been some research that suggests working your leg muscles for maximum brain benefit from physical activity.
- Maintain A Balanced Diet
Having a balanced diet is important to your health in general, but it’s especially important for your brain health. Eating omega-3 fatty acids, low in saturated fat, full of nutrients that are found in leafy greens and whole grains are key to keeping your brain healthy throughout your lifetime.
Incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and limiting red meat can work wonders for your brain function. One thing to consider adding to your diet that you might not expect is dark chocolate. Some research suggests it can help with improving your memory and cognitive function.
Lastly, limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake is crucial. You can have one or two cups of coffee in the morning, but you should try and limit caffeine intake after that and not have any more in the afternoon.
- Positive Social Interaction
Rather than staying in and binge-watching the newest tv series, consider spending time with friends and loved ones. When you’re socializing with those you enjoy being around, your body circulates blood to different parts of your brain as you’re consistently listening to others and formulating responses in return.
Additionally, being social and connecting with others means you’re at a lower risk for depression. Just make sure you’re surrounding yourself with those you love and care about to get maximum benefits from socialization.
- Try New Things
It’s important to continue to learn new things as you get older. Aside from acquiring new skills that could be useful in the future, it also keeps your brain occupied and healthy by forging new connections between brain cells.
Consider learning a new language, taking up cooking courses, how to play an instrument, or even traveling somewhere new. By experiencing new things throughout your life, your brain uses more neural circuits. More neural circuits mean it’s harder for neurodegenerative diseases to manifest.
Positive Changes for a Healthier Brain
Maintaining brain health as you age is just as important as your physical health. Make sure you’re consistently stimulating your brain, ensuring it gets the proper rest it needs overnight, and providing it with the nutrients it needs to thrive. Making a few simple changes to your life can ensure your brain stays healthy for a very long time.