The media is full of messages concerning physical exercise and fitness, but do you ever hear a message about effectively exercising your brain?
Worry over general health spurs physical action and should include a routine for sustaining a healthy brain. When you start forgetting little things, a common fear is that Alzheimer’s Disease is developing. This is far from true. Most loss of memory has more to do with the medications you may be taking or lack of proper rest and nothing to do with Alzheimer’s.
Fear not! There are methods you can use, starting today, to successfully improve your health and prevent your brain from ageing.
Incorporate the following 7 steps to maintain a healthy brain, developed by Dr Isadore Rosenfeld of Fox News Channel, into your daily routine.
1. Maintain “normal” range blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Systolic pressure under 120 and a diastolic pressure below 80 are considered normal blood pressure values. Blood pressure is usually referred to as a fraction like 120/80.
Systolic pressure is defined as the peak pressure in the arteries. Diastolic pressure is the lowest pressure in the arteries. These pressures are never static but constantly changing from heartbeat to heartbeat through various activities during the day.
2. Sleep adequately.
Many studies have shown that one of the effects of sleep deprivation is the obstruction of healing. Lack of adequate sleep affects your immune system.
A study on sleep deprivation conducted in 2007 found that the part of your brain that holds information for more processing is seriously affected by the lack of sleep. This area of the brain called “working memory” is also responsible for your reasoning and decision-making abilities.
3. Have a good breakfast every day. Include more Omega-3 and Omega-6 to your diet.
High doses of Omega-3 fatty acid have been shown to create a protective effect against the dopamine-related causes of Parkinson’s Disease in the same way it does for Alzheimer’s. This research was enough to encourage further study of Omega-3 in the prevention of Parkinson’s. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids support the brain and most diets lack them.
4. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fibre essential to your health. People who consume generous quantities reduce the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
5. Stay active socially. Read a newspaper or magazine every day or do crossword puzzles and sudoku.
The British Association Festival of Science reported that seniors who engaged in crosswords and sudoku puzzles could help keep the brain nearly 14 years younger.
Reading is vital. It exposes new concepts and different ideas that urge our brains to make new links to the world. This stimulates the brain which in turn maintains brain health.
6. Avoid alcohol in abundance.
Excessive alcohol consumption affects abstract thinking, concept shifting, and difficult memory tasks, as evidenced by alcoholics in treatment, even though their overall IQ does not decrease. Even moderate alcohol consumption could shrink the brain which impairs cognitive functions.
7. Engage in regular physical exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
New brain cells and blood vessels supplying the brain are fueled by physical exercise. When you are over 60, this growth enables better mental alertness.
Both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services pointed out that a minimum of 30 minutes physical exercise daily is needed to reduce the risk of falling prey to chronic diseases.
As the medical community increases your ability to live longer you will have to give more emphasis to brain health and exercise. Maintain your brain just as much as our bodies to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life.
Follow the 7 Ways to a Healthier Brain as part of your regular physical fitness routine. You will feel healthy, more intelligent and productive. Now, who wouldn’t want all that?