Brain Health as You Age

How to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age

As we quickly approach June, it is great to be aware that June is national Brain and Alzheimer’s Awareness month and we’re here to give you advice on how to keep your brain healthy. The brain is the most important organ in your body and it’s important that you keep it healthy as you age. Learn how to keep the brain healthy with the following tips that help prevent cognitive decline. Continue reading to learn specific tips for brain health as you age.

1. Stay Physically Active

Exercise helps your body in a lot of ways. Exercise is good to reduce your risks of many physical ailments such as strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. You may think of losing weight, looking better, and lowering blood pressure are some benefits on why you picked up exercising. However, exercise also helps improve various brain functions. Exercise can reduce the risk of depression, improve self-esteem, increase memory, and help thinking.

Improvement in mood and sleep and reductions in stress and anxiety are the main reasons why exercise prove to be beneficial to the brain. Mood, sleep, stress, and anxiety are considered problem areas for people. These factors can lead you to experience a decline in cognitive health. Exercising is a great hobby for you to pick up to stay sharp physically and mentally as you age. Try joining a work out class, tracking your progress, or hiring a personal trainer to help you get started exercising.

2. Get Enough Sleep

You can improve your brain health just by sleeping! It seems almost too easy. However, it makes perfect sense when you think about it. Your brain is an organ and needs to be powered throughout the whole day. Your brain is still active when you sleep but this is the time when your brain gets a chance to relax. You improve various cognitive aspects while sleeping.

Not getting enough sleep leads to poor decision making and lack of attention. Sleeping allows you to strengthen neural connections in your brain. This means that sleep helps your long-term memory. Your brain also clears out toxins related to a variety of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, when you sleep. Another positive benefit of sleep is that it helps your brain be more creative. Sleeping also helps your physical health along with your mental health. One study has linked sleep loss and depression. Who would have guessed sleeping is so healthy

3. Stop Smoking

This is a no-brainer. All the studies out show that smoking is bad for your health. Smoking leads to all sorts of different cancers and other physical diseases related to the body.  However, it’s also bad for your brain. Cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that is found in most tobacco products. You may find it hard to quit smoking but there a bunch of benefits to quitting.

The nicotine that I found in cigarettes is extremely addicting. This nicotine changes the way your brain works. That’s why beating nicotine addiction is hard for people. Your brain develops extra receptors for nicotine when you use large doses of nicotine. You shock these receptors when you quit smoking. This tends to lead to anxiety, irritableness, and cravings.

Your brain’s nicotine receptors will return to normal when you kick the habit for good. However, you may still have occasional cravings, but they will eventually fade as well. Your brain will thank you and you will see improvements in all aspects of your health. Quitting or avoiding smoking leads to a long, healthy lifestyle.

4. Keep Up the Social Connections

Socializing is a basic human need. You will see improvement in your health when you stay socially active as you age. Your immune system becomes stronger when you socialize. This means you can fight off more and flus. Socializing also might help you live longer. Studies have shown that people with a larger social circle live longer than people who are isolated.

Your brain’s health will also improve when you stay socially interactive. Researchers have found lots of evidence that links socializing to a healthy brain. Social connections help improve your mood. Research has shown that building social connections is a way to improve your mood and self-esteem. Staying socially active also helps reduce your risk of becoming depressed. A reduced risk of developing dementia is another benefit that comes when you socialize frequently. You are more likely to perform well on tests that involve memory and cognitive skills when you continue socializing as you age.

5. Limit How Much Alcohol You Drink

Limiting your alcohol consumption is another good way to keep your healthy as you age. While alcohol may make you more social when you are under the influence of it, there are negative side effects to it. So how does alcohol affect your brain?

Alcohol is a depressant which means that it slows your body down. Alcohol also reacts to different receptors in your brain. The three receptors that alcohol interacts within your brain are the neurotransmitters GABA, glutamate, and dopamine. Your speech and movement are slowed and affected due to alcohol interacting with the GABA and glutamate. You will also feel good because of the alcohol interacting with your brain’s dopamine receptor.

Alcohol also has many long-term effects. Alcohol diminishes brain and cognitive functions when you drink heavily. You can impair your intellectual abilities from drinking excessively. Drinking can also lead to a diminished brain size. Alcohol can also damage nerves throughout your body. You should limit your alcohol consumption to maintain a healthy brain.

6. Maintain a Balanced Diet

Maintaining a balanced diet is huge for your health. Not only does it help you stay in good physical condition as you age, it can help keep your brain healthy. A balanced nutrition plan can help you see improvements in various areas of your brain health.

A balanced diet can help you improve your memory. Your memory will be improved from all the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are found in fruits and vegetables. Eating food with omega-3 fatty acids like fish can also help protect your memory. A balanced diet also helps boost your alertness. You’ll be more alert when you eat a variety of food that contains glucose, or sugar. Carbohydrates are the best source of glucose. Eating certain meat can help improve your iron supply. This will improve your oxygen supply to the brain. You can also avoid a stroke by maintaining a balanced diet.