The most complex organ in your body, your brain controls every
aspect of your life, and is always changing. As we experience the
world, practice new habits, and learn new information, our minds
undergo what is known as “brain plasticity,” or the ability to
grow and even repair connections in the brain.
A holistic view of brain health includes both the emotional and
physical qualities of the brain, and your lifestyle has a
profound impact on overall brain health. Download our entire
Brain Health Toolkit here, and try incorporating these six tips
into your daily routine to optimize brain health.
Brain-stimulating activities promote healthy connections
between nerve cells and even help generate new ones!
Solve a brain teaser, work on a crossword or Sudoku puzzle,
or learn a new language to sustain and even improve cognitive
Activities that use your hands as well as your mind—like
drawing or playing an instrument—can also improve brain health.
Move and Groove
Physical exercise is not only beneficial for maintaining a
healthy weight and strong heart.
Engage in 30 minutes of regular movement every day.
Movement helps you elevate your heart rate and increases
blood flow to the brain and body.
Eat to Think
Embrace a “Mediterranean-style” diet that includes large
amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and unsaturated fats
like olive oil.
Swap out meat for plant-based protein sources or fish.
Avoid excessive drinking and foods high in sodium foods.
Connect to Protect
Remain socially connected to other people to support healthy
Socialization is vital for maintaining a positive outlook on
life and reducing the risk of depression, which is a major risk
factor of cognitive change.
Studies show the more connected someone is to their
community, the better their ability to preserve cognitive
function and retain memory.
Sleep is essential for brain health. When you sleep, your
brain processes all that it learned that day, and develops new
strategies for conquering old problems.
Try creating a nighttime routine that will help you prepare
Get at least 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Stress can negatively impact your brain and can have a
detrimental effect on your memory.
Learn to manage your stress by practicing mindfulness or
Seek out places where you feel at peace, whether that be
church or a park bench. A positive mindset will go far in keeping
your brain hearty and healthy.
Having a Purpose has a Purpose
Researchers have long acknowledged the correlation between
staying happy and staying healthy, but recent studies suggest an
even more compelling relationship – having a purpose in life and
sustaining cognitive function as you age.
The data shows that people with a well-defined sense of meaning
in their lives had a 15% lower risk of death over a 15-year
period, and those didn’t were nearly 40% morelikely to die of cardiovascular
disease. While purpose-driven individuals are more likely to
exercise on a regular basis and have healthier diets, those
studying the link between brain health and a life with purpose
say there’s a much deeper connection.
Linda Whiteside, Eskaton employee, artist, and humanitarian,
found her life’s purpose through her art and working with
Eskaton’s Telephone Reassurance Program. Every day she surrounds
herself with meaningful activities that spark joy, whether
providing companionship to an older adult over the phone, or
immersing herself in the world of ceramics. Read her whole story here.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for
educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended
to be a substitute for professional medical, financial, health,
social and environmental advice.