Importance of Brain Health
The only constant about your brain is that it’s always changing. Even after we have reached maturity, our brain continues to change. These changes are sometimes referred to as “brain plasticity.” Our experiences, habits, and the information we receive all have a part in the changes taking place in our brain. New experiences and knowledge greatly contribute to keeping our brains working, developing, and learning.
Sometimes we become concerned by changes in our brain. We lose our keys and forget people’s names. While some of this is attributed to changes in our brain, lapses in memory can also be caused by certain medications, lack of sleep, and other factors such as excessive alcohol.
The brain is like a muscle and when we use it, we feel better. There are lifestyle habits that are not only good for our body but also our brain. Here are some suggested activities that are good for the aging brain:
- Get Moving—A daily walk is one of the easiest ways to keep moving. However, any activity that gets your heart pumping for 30 minutes most days is good for your body and your brain. Being active is associated with lower risk of brain issues.
- Know your blood pressure—High blood pressure can have serious side-effects on your brain health. If your blood pressure is high, make necessary lifestyle changes, including medication if recommended, to get it under control
- Get adequate sleep—Inadequate sleep affects the memory center of the brain. A good 7 or 8 hours of sleep is recommended for good health.
- Discover a new talent—-When you learn new things, you engage your brain. Picking up a new hobby, learning a new language, reading, word puzzles, and a plethora of other activities keep the brain in good shape.
- Pick up the phone—-Stay connected with your family and friends. Science has shown that engaging in social activities is good for the brain. Cook dinner and invite someone over. Volunteer or join a group. Find ways to associate with other people.
- Eat up-—Eating a healthy diet is extremely beneficial not only to our bodies but also our brains. Some foods, like strawberries, blueberries, and broccoli are considered power foods for the brain.
Information provided by brainhealth.acl.gov