Could This Prevent Dementia?
When you think of your vital organs, you probably immediately think of the heart – whose beating is crucial to life – and the liver – which ultimately carries its importance in its name, a live-r. Organs serve vital bodily functions, and that’s precisely why you need to take good care of them. You know that you should avoid excesses for the safety of your liver. You know that regular exercise and a healthy diet do your heart good. You never forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to support your kidneys. You even ensure that you keep your skin – the largest external organ in the body – hydrated and protected. But what are you doing to maintain the health of your brain? If you can’t find an answer to the question, don’t worry. A lot of people tend to forget that the brain is an organ too. In other words, it’s time to ditch the eternal debate that opposes gym enthusiasts to library lovers. You need a healthy balance of both to keep your body working!
But what is the fitness regime you need to maintain your brain? Should you sign up for a class of advanced math? Do you need to do handstands to irrigate your brain cells? What is the best food for the infamous gray cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s private Belgian detective? In a word, looking after your brain can be complicated, especially as, contrary to other organs, the impacts of your lifestyle can be tricky to spot at first. Where a poor liver can make you sick, and a weak heart weighs you down, an unhealthy brain will not show a sign of weakness immediately. But 20 or 30 years down the line, you might find yourself becoming easily forgetful and confused. Dementia, for instance, is not a fatality in old age; it’s the disease of a neglected brain. Here are a few ideas to keep your brain healthy for longer!
It’s at the heart of your health
The human brain weighs about 3.3 lbs, which is about 2% of the human’s body weight. Nevertheless, it isn’t a matter to take lightly as the brain is the command center of the nervous system which receives sensory information and sends output responses. The brain isn’t reduced to preparing the response to external factors such as pain and cold. It controls critical functions of your body such as your heart, your breathing and your consciousness. As a result, it’s maybe easier to understand how a stroke, aka a blocked artery or a bursting in the brain, can lead to death if left untreated. When the brain stops working, the other organs are left without a command.
Unbelievable but true, brain workout means workout
It might seem strange at first, but one of the key elements to maintain brain health is sports. Indeed, being active helps to improve the circulation of oxygen and blood to all your organs. So when you go for a jog in the morning, you’re not just improving your heart, but you’re also helping your brain. You will find that the brain reacts positively to physical activities that combine team spirit, collaboration, and joy, as these elements are directly linked to the production of happy and relaxing hormones. In other words, you might want to look up for a fitness class that motivates you. The bottom line is that if running in the wood or weight lifting isn’t your thing, ultimately, while it might do good to your body, it can be devastating for your brain. Imagine the confusion when your brain begins to notice a health improvement from the things you hate?
Exciting hobbies that get your brain cells spinning
Admittedly, physical workouts don’t cover all your needs. You need to add a brainy twist to your hobbies. For some, doing crosswords is all it takes to keep the brain engaged and thinking. Others enjoy puzzle games, such as real-life escape the room games from The Escape Artist, to get those gray cells in shape. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is to know this: Problem-solving and thinking outside the box are not just nice facts to put on your résumé. They are essential brain sports to maintain your cognitive abilities.
Work your memory
Did you know that the excessive use of digital devices is damaging your memory? Not convinced? Try to recite your partner’s number off the top of your head. As more and more people use their phone as a memory assistant, to record phone numbers, grocery shopping lists, addresses, and appointments, they are experiencing a damaging effect from their uber-organized habits. Their memory shrinks, and gradually the brain loses the ability to make new memories or retain old ones.
You’re not too old to learn something new
Contrary to the common belief, you can improve your memory and cognitive abilities at any age. In fact, you can even regrow your brain with the right exercises. Indeed, learning is a great way to help your brain develop new habits and record new facts. For instance, learning a foreign language is a fun and creative way of growing your skills and your brain. Similarly, learning new skills, such as craft knitting, can reshape your brain, as it is forced to establish a new behavioral pattern to make it work.
Food for the brain
There is no denying that superfood is everywhere and can increase the health of your body by providing specific nutrients. When it comes to the brain, superfood can help to prevent health issues. Blueberries are sometimes referred to as brainberries because they actively protect it from oxidative stress and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 are essential fatty acids for the brain cells and can be found in deep-water fish such as wild salmon and sardines. Finally, if you’re looking for a treat, an ounce of nuts a day can help to maintain your cognitive abilities. So, get the peanut butter out and eat yourself smart!
In conclusion, your brain deserves as much care and attention as your other organs. If you want to fight off dementia and the risk of stroke now, it’s time to start your brain fitness routine!