One of my biggest fears is losing my mind or my memory . . . or both. So, I keep up on the latest research on ways to keep my brain strong, sharp and brilliant.
There’s so much we know about how our brains function compared to even a few years ago. But, that doesn’t make them any less complicated. Our brains have a huge job to do with lots of responsibilities. Here are just a few of the things your brain is doing for you right now:
- Regulating your temperature, breathing, and heart rate
- Coordinating your movement and balance
- Recording, processing, and interpreting sensory information about your environment — and your own body
- Allowing you to think, reason, imagine, dream, and experience emotions
- Cataloging storing, and retrieving information and memories
- Giving you the ability to speak, read, write, and understand languages
It turns out there’s a lot we can do to keep our brains working at full capacity, and one simple rule stands out: What’s good for your heart is good for your bones, is good for your weight, is good for your mood, is good for your libido, is good for your overall health . . . and is really great for your brain.
Instead of easing off the weights as you age . . . Bump up your strength training.
A recent study found that women who worked out with weights twice a week had less brain shrinkage than those who trained only once a week or did only stretching exercises. Another study says that middle-aged adults who stay in good shape can cut their dementia risk by 40 percent.
Here are ten small science-backed steps to a brilliant brain:
- Keep working or volunteering, and stay engaged with the world.
- See friends and family often.
- Read as much as possible, including books that challenge your vocabulary or way of thinking.
- Try new activities, especially those that require learning new physical or mental skills.
- Eat brain-healthy foods, including vegetables, nuts, fish, and olive oil.
- Be careful about which medications you take — and reduce or eliminate your use of sleeping pills.
- Reduce stress through mindfulness exercises, organizational habits, and a commitment to positive thinking.
- Move your body every day.
BONUS TIP FOR A BRILLIANT BRAIN: DON’T SMOKE!
Get more tips on living better, longer, happier from my new book — Love Your Age!
Originally published at www.barbarahannahgrufferman.com