5 habits for better brain health

Your brain just might be your most important organ, which is why it deserves the best care. However, as we age, it becomes harder to maintain mental acuity. While some cognitive decline is standard, certain behaviors can accelerate that trajectory.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, 10 to 20 percent of adults age 65 or older may have mild cognitive impairment, which heightens the risk of developing Alzheimer's or another type of dementia. Studies have shown that certain behaviors, like smoking or eating poorly, can also increase the likelihood of impaired cognitive function.

Knowing how easily your lifestyle can impact your brain, try these healthy habits instead:

1. Exercise everyday
Having a consistent exercise routine can immensely benefit your brain. A study from the journal Neurology found that physically active adults given cognitive tests earned scores that were equivalent to being 10 years younger than other participants. Typically, experts recommend getting in 30 minutes of a workout every day.

2 Get enough sleep every night
For our brains to get the proper amount of rest, we need to sleep between seven and eight hours every night. A good way to ensure you get adequate sleep is by avoid using electronic devices in bed. The light emitted from these screens can keep you awake longer. You should also avoid substances like caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

3. Quit your vices
Habits like smoking and drinking too much can take a serious toll on your health, especially when it comes to your brain. These behaviors are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, which are also associated with the risk of stroke. Be sure to eliminate these from your lifestyle to focus on improving your brain health.

4. Eat a nutritionally balanced diet
Your brain needs healthy food to function properly, so your diet should include these in plenty. Studies have linked certain ingredients, like curcumin, to the decreased risk of cognitive decline or the development of Alzheimer's. It's also important to focus on getting plenty of certain vitamins, whether through food consumption or supplementation. Some research has demonstrated the negative impact of vitamin D deficiencies on brain function.

5. Stop multitasking
If you're constantly juggling different tasks at once, you could be seriously harming your brain. According to research from Stanford University, multitasking causes poor attention span and memory control. The researchers concluded that focusing on one task at a time is better for your cognitive health, as you're less likely to get distracted by unimportant details.

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 3:46 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.