10 Ways to Love Your Brain
As you age, changes to your body and brain are normal. However, growing evidence indicates that people can slow their risk of cognitive decline by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. It’s never too late to start. The Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 ways to maximize your brain health:
- Exercise – Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow.
- If You Smoke, Stop – If you stop smoking, your risk levels of cognitive decline will be reduced and become comparable to those who have never smoked.
- Hit the Books – Take a class online, at a community center, or at a local college.
- Take Care of Your Heart – Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke—obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure—can negatively impact your cognitive health.
- Watch Your Head – Reduce your risk of brain injury. Wear a helmet for appropriate activities, wear a seatbelt, and take steps to reduce falls.
- Eat Healthy – Eat a balanced diet lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruits. Certain diets such as the Mediterranean diet may contribute to cognitive risk reduction.
- Get Good Sleep – Go to bed and wake up at the same time daily. If you have problems with insomnia or sleep apnea, seek treatment.
- Care for Yourself Mentally – Seek medical attention if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Try to manage stress.
- Stay Socially Engaged – Pursue activities you enjoy and find meaningful. Find ways to be part of groups or organizations. Spend time with family and friends.
- Try Puzzles – Try activities to challenge and activate your mind, like puzzles, painting, games, or even putting together a piece of furniture.