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Brain Health: Four Ways to Enhance Cognitive Function

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By incorporating healthy lifestyle choices, you can improve your brain health and reduce the risk of disease. How and where to start? Good news! This article and our Brain Health tips will cover evidence-based habits that can positively impact your brain’s well-being. Let’s explore the four main areas of brain health.

  1. Exercise – The Best Prevention Strategy

    When it comes to maintaining optimal brain health – get your body moving. Exercise is a must! Numerous studies have shown that regular cardiovascular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline. “What’s good for the heart is good for the brain” is a commonly used phrase emphasizing the connection between these two vital organs.

    Do: Exercise regularly and get your heart pumping to break a sweat and increase blood flow to the brain and body.

  2. Nutrition – Be MINDful

    Nutrition is an area that often faces many misconceptions and misinformation. Fad diets can have adverse effects on the brain. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends a fusion between the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

    Opt for the MIND Diet – “MIND” stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.” This diet emphasizes minimizing processed foods and eating larger quantities of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and fish. The MIND diet aims to help prevent dementia and slow age-related decline in brain function.

    Do: Consume all kinds of vegetables, berries, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, fish, legumes, poultry, and a moderate amount of wine. Limit sugar and salt.

  3. Cognitive Engagement – Keeping Your Mind Active

    Keeping your mind engaged in activities such as assembling furniture, solving math problems, or learning new skills can impact your cognitive abilities. Embrace new hobbies or challenge yourself to learn new skills and knowledge. Reading regularly helps keep your brain active.

    Do: Puzzles, mind games, brain quizzes, learning a new language, or creative endeavors can help stimulate different brain regions. Helping your brain to be active and engaged.

  4. Social Engagement – The Power of Connection

    Social interaction is crucial in brain health, especially for older adults. Social engagement provides opportunities for connection and stimulates different parts of the brain. Joining walking groups, engaging in physical exercise, volunteering, or participating in community gardens are fantastic ways to stay socially connected with peers while using your brain in new and exciting ways.

    Do: Volunteer for an important cause. Keep in touch with others. Visit friends and loved ones, and participate in community events.

Taking Control of Brain Health

While age remains the most significant risk factor for conditions like Alzheimer’s, it is important to remember that aging is not synonymous with cognitive decline. The Alzheimer’s Association shares 10 Ways to Love Your Brain. Begin by prioritizing healthy habits and lifestyle choices to take control of your brain health. It’s never too late to start.

One habit that is often overlooked but greatly impacts brain health is sleep. Sleep is an integral component of brain health. It is recommended to get around seven hours of sleep per night. Restful sleep is essential for the brain’s restoration and clearing away harmful plaque associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s. Establishing healthy sleeping habits, alongside optimal nutrition and regular physical activity, is essential for nurturing both the body and mind. Prioritize quality sleep as part of your daily routine. Reminder: what’s good for the body is also good for the brain.

Recently, Sequoia Living communities hosted the Alzheimer’s Association for a presentation on “Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body,” covering the four key areas of brain health.

At Sequoia Living, residents have numerous opportunities to participate in wellness activities and programs. Explore what it means to grow stronger, wiser, and more joyful at Sequoia Living, where you Never Stop Growing.

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