We can’t control getting older, but we can control how we do it.
Today, I’m talking about how a few small steps can improve your brain.
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Have you ever forgotten something that you absolutely know? Like where you put the keys or the name of your favorite movie? It happens to all of us from time to time. After a forgetful moment of my own, I went looking for some answers.
And yes, our short-term memory might be less effective than when we were younger. But here’s some really great news: they improve over time with things like vocabulary, noticing patterns, and recognizing social cues.
If getting dementia is one of your biggest fears (like mine!), there’s good news. Research shows that fewer people are getting dementia and if you take a few steps now, you can reduce your risk by 40%!
More good news: what’s good for your heart, is good for your bones, is good for your mood, is good for your weight, is good for your libido, and good for your overall health, and yes . . . is good for your brain.
But the key is to think about your brain now, so you can fight off dementia later. Here’s how . . .
Here are the 7 steps that will help you have a better brain.
Stay connected. Keep up with friends, make new connections, and stay engaged. Isolation increases harmful level of proteins in the brain. Hanging out with friends really is good for you.
Get enough sleep. We all need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to harmful plaque build up in the brain. Hear the 5 tips that will help you get a good night sleep every night.
Exercise your body. You knew it was coming! We all know that exercise helps with overall health, and it’s also good for your brain, too. Strength-training is linked to better brain health as well, so add strength-training into your exercise plan a few days a week. In the podcast, I outline a few ways you can add movement into your day that are fun and easy.
Calm your brain down. Breathing and meditation are great ways to help calm the brain. The payoff will help and it’s something you can do anywhere. Feeling stressed? Try the 4-4-4-4 ‘Box Breathing’: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, wait for 4 seconds, and repeat.
Eat brain food. The right foods will keep your brain sharp. Keep your calories moderate and skip the processed food and choose the fresh fruits and vegetables when you can. There’s even a MIND diet created to optimize the health of your brain. This plan focuses on great food options (including dark chocolate), with an emphasis on berries.
Exercise your brain. Try new things. Challenge yourself to spark more synaptic connections. They don’t just make you smarter, it also creates a cognitive reserve. Reading and activities like knitting can help your brain stay sharp. Don’t be afraid to learn new things.
Take care of your health. Many physical conditions can affect your brain health. High blood pressure and heart issues are just two that can impact your brain if they continue long-term.
Our brain health is something we can control, and the seven steps I outlined in today’s podcast will help. You’re probably already doing some of them already and can easily incorporate a few new things into your day.
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