Oct 27, 2018

Eight Tips for a Healthier Brain

Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise boosts daily intellectual performance and significantly lowers risk for dementia. Other studies have suggested that regular exercise can reduce that risk by up to 38 percent. More studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight with a low ratio of belly fat can significantly lower our risk for a memory disorder, even beginning in middle age.

Managing chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes can significantly reduce risk for stroke and dementia. Also, taking care of medical issues such as hearing or vision loss can make a tremendous difference in our ability to learn new information.

Emotional distress and anxiety can also affect everyday abilities and may even increase risk for memory impairment. Get a good night’s sleep, avoid risky behaviors, and do not ignore emotional upsets. A leading study on successful aging found that folks who aged well were more emotionally resilient than others.

Playing games against the clock activities force us to pay attention, work fast, and think nimbly. Research shows that training in these skills can help us stay more effective at them, regardless of age.

Research shows that staying intellectually engaged can significantly lower risk for memory impairment by as much as 63 percent. Intellectual engagement supports emotional well-being and better brain health. Look for ways to change your routine, such as taking a craft class, brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, or taking a new route to work or the store.

Staying social has been shown to potentially cut your risk for memory impairment in half. Social situations offer a challenge to keep up our end of the conversation and helps us stay focused, and think fast. Find ways to get out with friends, and ways to engage through community or other resources.

Working or volunteering can improve daily intellectual performance. You get a good brain workout on the job, which offers you the chance to engage both mentally and socially. Continuing to work or volunteer provides a sense of purpose, which researchers found may protect us from memory impairment.

If you want to remember better, believe that you can. Self-perception can impact performance. If you are convinced your memory is poor, it probably will be. Studies have shown that memory self-belief impacts how well we do on memory tests. Practice the power of positive thinking.