The ‘6 Pillars of Brain Health’
Follow these tips to boost your brain function:
Challenge your mind:
Engage in mentally stimulating activities that you enjoy, especially those that are new and challenging. Everything from learning a new language to gardening can benefit your brain.
Challenge your body:
Studies suggest that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias may be lower among physically active people. Most experts recommend aiming for 150 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.
Stay socially engaged:
Social interaction can improve your cognition by challenging your memory, attention, and ability to think of conversation topics and interpret visual and verbal cues.
Get plenty of rest, and learn to relax:
Poor sleep and emotional stress may adversely affect your cognition. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, and work with your doctor on ways to cope with stress.
Feed your brain:
Following a heart-healthy diet – such as the Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and lean protein sources – can promote brain health.
Address risk factors:
Work with your doctor to optimize your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. If you smoke, discuss cessation strategies with your physician. And, tell your doctor about any signs of depression, such as feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. All of these risk factors may contribute to poor brain health and dementia.