It is important to remember the health of our most complex organ: our brain. While the brain constantly changes throughout our lives, it’s critical that we take steps to help us stay on top of our game as we age.
Help give your brain a boost in the right direction by implementing these 10 brain-healthy habits.
1.) Get moving. Studies show that being physically active may help reduce some risks to your brain health. It doesn’t matter what activity you do as long as you get your heart pumping, for 30 minutes most days.
2.) Eat up. By watching your diet, you may be able to help increase your chances of staying engaged as you age. Try eating a healthy, low solid-fat diet — one that is low in saturated and trans fats — with lots of veggies and fruits.
3.) Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure in midlife can have serious effects on your brain health down the road. If your blood pressure is high, talk to your doctor about how to get it under control.
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4.) Drink moderately, if at all. Alcohol may affect older adults differently than it had previously and even make them feel “high” without increasing the amount they drink. This can make you more likely to become confused or have accidents.
5.) Get some shuteye. Poor sleep can not only have serious physical effects but can impact memory and thinking, too. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night may help you keep your brain healthy.
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6.) Discover a new talent. When you learn new things, you engage your brain and help reduce some risks to it. Challenge your brain on a regular basis by trying something you haven’t done before.
7.) Stay connected. Regular engagement in social activities may be good for your brain. Stay connected and make it a point to keep in touch with your family and friends.
8.) Talk to your doctor. As you age, changes in brain function, including short-term memory loss, are expected. If you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor at your next appointment.
9.) Mind your meds. A medication that didn’t trigger side effects in the past can cause an abnormal reaction and even change your cognitive function as you age. Talk to your doctor about all of your medications.
10.) Maintain your balance. Regular balancing and strengthening exercises may help reduce your chances of a fall-related head injury. Work to improve your balance, and talk to your doctor if you fall.
To learn more about steps that may help keep your brain healthy, visit BrainHealth.gov.