Aging is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give in to being sedentary and listless. We were able to join a virtual wellness tour recently with Dr. Gary Small, Chair of Psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center and Behavioral Health Physician in Chief for Hackensack Meridian Health, to learn some tips on how to keep our brains healthy as we age – an absolute must, especially for seniors during these trying times. Here’s what we learned.
Stimulate Your Mind
Dr. Small, a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board, likens the brain to the muscle, which performs better when it gets regular exercise. “Mental stimulation has been shown to activate neural circuits and is associated with lower Alzheimer’s risk Educational achievements, bilingualism, or doing puzzles have all been shown to lower the risk of dementia,” he shares. “Memory training can also improve memory recall and help you maintain higher cognitive performance for five or more years.”
Apart from engaging in mentally stimulating activities, being active and healthy also helps with brain health. According to Dr. Small, pairing exercise with a balanced diet supports both brain health and cardiovascular health. “A healthy brain diet consists of eating foods rich in Omega-3 fats like fish and nuts; antioxidant-dense fruits and vegetables like blueberries and artichokes; and avoiding processed food,” he stresses. He also reminds us that nutrition and exercise alone don’t prevent the onset of disease or reverse the effects of aging.
Talk to Your Doctor
Talking to your doctor about managing your wellness and the medicines you take is also important in keeping your brain healthy. Aside from getting advice, your doctor will also be able to give you a proper checkup and figure out where you stand from a health standpoint.
Likewise, it is important to create a healthy environment by limiting your exposure to smoke, smog, mold, and other toxins. If you are a smoker, you should really make an effort to quit as early as now. Avoiding information overload, TV addiction, and clutter would also be good for your brain health.
A lot of the time, we stress ourselves out by thinking negatively. We think about how unhappy we are. We worry about how old we are getting. And we wallow in those thoughts. Believe it or not, having a more positive outlook on life can already do wonders for your brain health.
Get Enough Sleep
If you haven’t been getting enough sleep, it’s time to try and follow a proper sleeping schedule. It isn’t enough to sleep seven to nine hours a day. You have to make sure you sleep for that long during the right hours. Falling asleep at 4AM after binge-watching a Korean drama and then waking up well in the afternoon does not count as “getting enough sleep”.
Get the Support You Need
Of course, it would always help to have positive people around you, who will support you in life. Having optimistic people in your life who will lift you up and help you get through the hard days is one of the best ways to keep your brain healthy as you age.
For more tips and other nutrition-related concerns, visit IAmHerbalife.com
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