ACT NOW

Image - - Beauty& Health -

Want to en­sure your brain re­mains healthy? Here are just a few ways you can im­me­di­ately in­vest in your brain health …

CHER­ISH SLEEP Dis­rupted sleep can harm or dam­age

your abil­ity to learn and make mem­o­ries, and may even con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of Alzheimer’s dis­ease. Make sure to get the right

amount of sleep for your age.

MAN­AGE STRESS

Acute stress can en­hance me­mory, but poorly man­aged chronic stress can im­pair me­mory in the longer term. Too lit­tle stress leads to bore­dom and de­pres­sion. You need to find your per­sonal stress sweet spot, where you feel chal­lenged but not over­whelmed.

STAY SO­CIALLY EN­GAGED Peo­ple who live a so­cially en­gaged life ex­pe­ri­ence slower cog­ni­tive de­cline and are less likely to get Alzheimer’s. So­cial en­gage­ment helps to main­tain

cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing. Just ten min­utes so­cial in­ter­ac­tion can boost brain per­for­mance. Stay con­nected with friends and fam­ily, and make sure chil­dren spend time so­cial­is­ing in per­son as well as on so­cial me­dia.

CHAL­LENGE YOUR BRAIN Ed­u­ca­tion is the great­est cog­ni­tive en­hancer. Push­ing your­self be­yond your com­fort zone or into new sit­u­a­tions that chal­lenge you will

change your brain chem­istry, im­pact­ing pos­i­tively on its func­tion.

It doesn’t have to be aca­demic, but should in­volve chal­lenge, nov­elty and learn­ing. For ex­am­ple, if you play a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment, push your­self to play a piece that chal­lenges you or take up a new in­stru­ment. If you do cross­words, try the next dif­fi­culty level or com­plete the puz­zle within a time limit. Take up new hob­bies, learn new things and meet new peo­ple.

LOVE YOUR HEART Your heart health is closely linked to your brain health since your brain needs a re­li­able sup­ply of oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to func­tion. Midlife high blood pres­sure, stroke, type 2 di­a­betes and midlife obe­sity

in­crease the risk of de­vel­op­ing Alzheimer’s. Know your num­bers – get your blood pres­sure, choles­terol, and blood sugar checked and main­tain a healthy weight and BMI. Eat a diet rich in colour­ful veg­eta­bles and oily fish.

GET PHYS­I­CALLY AC­TIVE Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity has di­rect ben­e­fits on the struc­ture and func­tion­ing

of your brain. In con­trast, a seden­tary life in­creases your risk for heart dis­ease and de­men­tia. If you re­duced your daily sit­ting time from eight hours to six by stand­ing for two more hours ev­ery day, the net ef­fect is the equiv­a­lent of run­ning six marathons a year. Make sure chil­dren get reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and en­cour­age them to break up sit­ting spells by get­ting up and mov­ing about ev­ery hour.

AD­JUST YOUR AT­TI­TUDE

How you per­ceive life and sit­u­a­tions mat­ter. Older adults with pos­i­tive self-per­cep­tions of age­ing live, on av­er­age, 7.5 years longer than those with less pos­i­tive ones. Check your own prej­u­dices about age­ing and start see­ing grow­ing

older in a more pos­i­tive light.

PRO­TECT YOUR HEAD Put safety first – wear seat­belts, re­flec­tive gear and hel­mets where ap­pro­pri­ate and heed med­i­cal ad­vice to min­imise and treat con­cus­sions through sports.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.