June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Here are some tips on maintaining brain health.
As you age, there are many things you need to pay attention to, with your brain being one of them. Unfortunately, there are many things that can affect your brain in negative ways. These things include smoking, alcohol abuse, and other things. The good news is there are many tips on maintaining brain health that can help you out.
Improving Mental Stimulation
One of the tips on maintaining brain health that you can use is improving your mental stimulation. There is various research that supports this fact. There are also many different types of brain activities you can do to stimulate the proper connections. By doing this, you are also generating new brain cells and developing plasticity. This reserve you are building up is going to help fight against further brain cell loss.
With all the different kinds of brain activities out there, you can find any and help to strengthen your brain. You can take a course, read, try out word puzzles, paint, draw, or do other types of crafts. The dexterity of these crafts and activities can greatly improve your brain power and strength, reducing the chances of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Increasing Your Physical Activity
Exercising is another known way to maintain and improve your brain health. By physically moving, you are helping your mind to become stronger. When you start exercising on a regular basis, you are increasing the amount of blood vessels that deliver oxygen rich blood to the various areas of your brain. This process is responsible for thinking and thought processing. In addition, exercising can create newer nerve cells which increases connections in your brain cells. This makes your brain more adaptive, plastic, and efficient. If you want to perform better at just about anything, increasing your physical activity is going to help you do that. Exercise also reduces cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and balances blood sugar levels. These things help to reduce stress which also improves brain health.
Improving Your Diet
If you want to maintain or improve your brain health, another way you can do that is by improving your diet. Having good nutrition in your life is a great way to help your body and your mind. For example, those that eat a diet focused on the Mediterranean style which includes unsaturated oils, nuts, fish, vegetables, fruits, and proteins from plant sources, have a lower chance of developing dementia or other cognitive declines. If you want to improve your brain health and reduce your chances of getting dementia, be sure to start eating better today.
Improving Your Blood Pressure
You can maintain and improve your brain health by improving your blood pressure as well. Having high blood pressure is very common, especially during those mid-life years. The higher your blood pressure is, the higher risk you have of experiencing cognitive declines earlier on in your life. If you want to reduce your chances of having early-onset Alzheimer’s or dementia, improving your blood pressure is the way to go. You can modify your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure. Some of the things you can do include eating right, reducing your stress levels, limiting or cutting out alcohol, exercising on a regular basis, and staying fit. Take care of your body and you can managing your blood pressure.
Improving Your Blood Sugar
Unfortunately, those who have diabetes, have a higher risk of developing dementia. The good news is that you can still manage your brain health, even if you have diabetes. You just need to make sure you eat right, exercise on a regular basis, and stay fit. If you have blood sugar that won’t stay down, even with these lifestyle modifications, you may need to take medication to help you manage your health. This is something you can discuss with your doctor.
Improving Your Cholesterol
Another way you can maintain and manage your brain health is by improving your cholesterol levels. One risk of dementia is having high LDL levels. This is the bad cholesterol. By avoiding smoking, controlling your weight, exercising, and managing your diet, you can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. If you need more help to manage these levels, you can discuss medication or other treatment options with your doctor.
Low-Dose Aspirin Considerations
If you want to manage your brain health, another thing you can talk to your doctor about is taking low-dose aspirin. There is some research that suggest this method can help to lower the dementia risk for some people. This is especially true for vascular dementia. You can talk to your doctor about this option if you would like to do so.
Another great way of maintaining your brain health is by avoiding smoking. This includes smoking in any form – vaping, tobacco, e-cigarettes, marijuana, etc. If you can avoid smoking, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting dementia or experiencing other cognitive declines.
No Alcohol Abuse
Another risk for getting dementia is alcohol abuse. If you are an excessive drinker, this greatly increases your risk of getting dementia or other cognitive decline issues. If you are going to drink, which isn’t recommended for brain health, you should greatly limit your alcohol consumption.
Taking Care of Your Feelings and Emotions
You can reduce your risk of cognitive declines by taking care of your feelings and emotions as well. If you are sleep deprived, depressed, exhausted, or anxious a lot, you will probably score quite low on any cognitive functioning test. While low scores don’t necessarily mean you will get dementia, there is an increased risk that this will occur. Make sure you take the time to set and meet healthy goals in regards to your emotions, feelings, and self-care.
Protecting Your Head
You can maintain your brain health by protecting your head as well. Those who have moderate to severe injuries to their head, even if they don’t have a concussion that is diagnosed, have a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment issues. If you play sports or have a career that increases your risk of developing head injuries, do everything you can to keep your head protected. In addition, if you are riding a motorcycle or bicycle, always wearing a helmet can help with protecting your head as well.
Building a Healthy Social Life
Improving your social life can be another great way to reduce your dementia risk. Doing this can also keep your blood pressure lower and increase your life expectancy as well. Building a healthy social life can be done by spending time with people who have similar interests as you, those who don’t drink or use drugs, and having fun laughing with your friends.
Maintaining your brain health is one way you can reduce your risk of dementia or other cognitive declines. These are some of the many tips you can use to help maintain and improve your brain health. If you aren’t already doing these things, be sure to start right away. You don’t have to pick up on all these things at once. Pick one or two and add them into your life. In a while, you can add even more of these tips to your life as well. Make the changes starting today to help maintain your brain health.