Your brain is one of your body’s most vital, complex organs. It allows you to think, controls and coordinates bodily movements, and stores precious memories. Wouldn’t it be great to have a brain that functions at full capacity so you can maximize your potential? Well, there are certain lifestyle changes that you can make to support a healthy brain.
Here are 7 habits that can have a positive effect on your brain:
We often feel better, more accomplished even, when we exercise. Your brain feels the same way. A study from Harvard Health found that regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. Another study published in Neurology shows that lack of physical activity can be a detriment to decision making, rate of cognition, and semantic memory. No matter your age, any physical activity can strengthen your brain’s capabilities.
Our brain needs constant stimulation. Keeping your mind active has proven to slow down age-related cognitive decline. According to Psychological Science, by increasing how often we challenge our neurons with brain-teasers and puzzles and learning new skills, we can improve our memory function. Keep your brain active by including mental stimulation as part of your daily schedule.
We have all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” Well, it should come as no surprise that what we put in our bodies can change how we think. According to Healthy Eating, proper nutrition and a healthy diet low in fat improves thinking skills, reduces memory loss, and can even prevent strokes.
Vitamins and Minerals
People supplement a variety of vitamins and minerals to function properly; these are also important for the health of your brain. You can try any of these dietary supplements to improve your brain function:
- B Vitamins – B6, B9, and B12 prevent mental decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease
- Calcium – calcium influences the development of neurons
- Iron – essential for development of individual brain cells
- Vitamin D – improves cognition and memory
- Vitamin C – helps your body produce neurotransmitters, which can improve your mood and your memory. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of brain degeneration
Yes, that’s right. Caffeine! Caffeine is a natural brain stimulant. Many studies have shown that caffeine can disrupt adenosine, a cell chemical that interrupts neuron function and leads to neurodegeneration and even dementia. In addition to coffee, good sources of caffeine are green tea and chocolate, which has naturally-occurring caffeine in the cocoa beans.
Meditation can increase concentration and attention. It also has the ability to reduce anxiety. Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard found that in eight short weeks, meditation increased cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which leads to higher learning and memory.
A healthy, regulated sleep pattern is imperative to improving brain function. After a restful night, we feel refreshed. Sleep allows our brain to rest and store the precious memories we have created throughout the day. A simple habit of going to bed at the same time every night can have a very positive effect on your brain.
Your habits throughout the day have a substantial impact on your brain. By implementing these seven simple steps, you can choose to live a healthier lifestyle while increasing your brain function. For more information on these steps or to seek individual coaching to help with this process, call Alicia Sirkin to set up an appointment today.