Tips to Avoid Having a Crappy Brain
March 11-17 is International Brain Awareness Week, but it’s no occasion for rehearsing mental deficiencies. That’s not what it’s about. The thing is that our brains need attention. Neglecting them, in a way, is like failing to do sit-ups or other methods of strengthening stomach muscles. Just as belly fat will flop out and sag due to neglect, your brain is prone to sag later in life, if you don’t give it needed stimulation. The following are tips to sharpen your brain and decrease the risk of developing dementia or some other type of reduced mental capacity.
Learn Every Day
Make sure that you work on learning something daily. You might want to enroll in an online class that interests you and also challenges you. On your commute to work, practice a new language using Babbel.com. Continually engage your brain in the effort it requires to learn something new, and no one will be able to accuse you of being the dullest knife in the drawer.
Exercising your body is an important part of daily life. It’s good for keeping muscles toned, but exercise is also about ensuring that your brain is getting what it needs to stay healthy and strong. If you do 10 to 20 minutes of aerobic activity each day, your risk of getting Alzheimer’s will be cut in half and the risk of developing dementia will be slashed by 60%.
Get a Cognitive Training App
You can keep all the brain stimulation you need very handy by signing up for one of the cognitive skills apps available for download on your smartphone. Your intellectual capacity will be challenged, and that’s a good thing. Some programs are responsive and will cater to your current level of mental ability, gradually helping you build brain power.
Nourish Body and Brain
Certain diets are perfect for keeping your brain firing on all cylinders. Antioxidants are good for cognitive function, such as:
- Blueberries other berries
- Red grapes and other fruits
- Carrots and other vegetables
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate*
Get Sufficient Sleep
Sleep-deprivation has an immediate effect on cognitive skills, memory, communication, and clear-headed thinking; and researchers suppose that it could increase the risk of dementia, as well. Sleep is one of the essentials for survival, right along with air, food, and water. If necessary, take a 20-minute nap daily, to fill in gaps. It’s recommended that adults of all ages get a daily minimum of 7 hours of sleep.
Sugar is said to be more addictive than hard illicit drugs, and a high-sugar diet can harm the brain by inducing inflammation and causing poor regulation of insulin. Eat fish, nuts, seeds, some meat, and very few grains as part of a low-sugar diet.
Whether you take yoga or learn to meditate in some other method, it’s important to avoid chronic stress, which damages the brain. Do things that help keep you calm and avoid a stress response to the things that happen in your daily life. Prayer, Tai Chi, breath-focused exercise, and mindfulness meditation are all methods for reducing anxiety.
Happy Brain Week!
You may need to get hit in the head to remember that your brain should not be ignored. It would be less painful for this week of brain awareness to serve as your wake-up call.