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Portrait of an active senior couple in sportswear smiling and lifting dumbells while exercising together in their living room at home

Keep Your Brain in Shape with These Tips

Writer /  Kelsey Miller, Physician Assistant, IU Health Physicians Family Medicine in Brownsburg

As human beings, our bodies are constantly developing and changing. According to Harvard Health Publishing, there is no time in our lives when our brain and its functions remain steady. As you age, it is common to see changes in your ability to remember things. It may take you longer to remember things such as names, faces, appointments or where you put something. Help preserve your memory and keep your brain in shape with these tips.

Stimulate your brain

Continuously stimulating our brains can help build cognitive reserve, which is our brain’s ability to find other ways to perform different tasks. A strong cognitive reserve could help preserve your brain function for longer. Stay mentally active and stimulate your brain with mental exercises such as reading, learning a new hobby and completing word puzzles or riddles.

Physical exercise

Physical exercise is not only great for our overall health, but also for our brain health. When we exercise, beneficial proteins are released in our brain. These proteins keep our brain cells healthy. Incorporate daily exercises into your everyday routine to help ensure that you get at least 30 active minutes each day.

Healthy diet

It has been shown that people who eat more fruits, vegetables, fish and healthy fats are less likely to develop åcognitive impairment and dementia. Fuel your mind and body with healthy fat sources like nuts, unsaturated oils, and avocados, along with whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal.

Stay social

Your mental health is important for your brain health. Strong social interactions and relationships have been associated with a lower risk of dementia. Healthy relationships with friends and family can lower stress and provide a strong support system. Connect with friends or family through tough and happy times to build a strong connection and foundation for emotional support.

Limit your alcohol consumption

Excessive drinking can lead to long-term damage to your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain responsible for learning and memory. If you’re going to drink, try to stick to the recommended amount of one alcoholic drink per day for women and two per day for men.

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