Why is Brain Health Important?
In order for an individual to avoid cognitive decline and the development of dementia, he or she must ensure that their brain is as active and healthy as possible. Maintaining a healthy and active brain can strengthen one’s brain cells, which ultimately are the cause of dementia and impaired brain health. By maintaining a healthy and strong brain, individuals are essentially reducing the risk of developing dementia or other diseases due to damaged brain cells.
Learn How to Keep Your Brain Active
Keeping the brain active and maintaining its longevity is important, especially as individuals age and start to experience a natural decline in their cognitive abilities. There are several ways to ensure that the brain is as strong and vigorous as possible, which will greatly benefit an individual’s health in the long run. Ways to keep a brain active and healthy include:
- Maintain a healthy diet that is filled with heart healthy foods. Heart healthy foods include: fatty fish, dark chocolate, blueberries, broccoli and nuts. Maintaining a healthy diet will not only give your brain the fuel it needs in order to work properly but will give it the longevity that it needs to maintain its functions and remain healthy.
- Certain brain games can help an elderly individual maintain their brain health, while challenging their brain to stay strong for the long haul. These brain games include puzzles, crosswords, trivia and sudoku. These brain games should be challenging yet achieving them should be within reach. These games will test the brain in multiple ways while simultaneously keep its functions sharp and stout.
- Learn new things, often. Studies show that learning something new can help enhance a brain’s functions and strengthen its abilities. Whether it is learning a new word, learning a new language or simply learning how to do a new hobby – just learn something new!
- Use all of your senses, at the same time to improve brain functionality! Scientists believe that if you engage each sense at the same time, it will challenge your brain to adjust to a new experience that it may not be familiar with.
- Stay active and exercise regularly! According to a study completed at the University of British Columbia, the hippocampus of the brain reacts in a positive and constructive way when the body engages in regular exercise. Additionally, exercise has been proven to boost an individual’s mood, sleep patterns and anxiety issues. Individuals who have issues sleeping, mood swings or high anxiety levels have been known to develop dementia down the road. It is advised that an individual consult with his or her doctor regarding what type of exercise and how much exercise they should pursue, as it will vary depending on strength levels and age.
- Testing oneself on memory and the ability to recall information is beneficial to improve cognitive ability in the long run. Individuals who regularly test their own memory give their brain the strength it needs to recall memories as they age. Testing their memory can be done by playing memory games or simply asking themselves to recall something or a particular memory that happened in the past. Although some individuals try to strengthen their memory by repeating something that is fresh in their mind, it is more beneficial to try to recall something that happened far enough in the past where recalling the memory could be challenging.
Although cognitive impairment, to a certain degree, can be normal for elderly individuals, it does not have to lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia. By simply challenging one’s self to keep their brain healthy and active, they can preserve their brain cells, allowing their blood flow to remain optimal to continue to take care of their brain health. If an individual experiences signs or symptoms that seem to be abnormal, please contact a medical professional immediately. With the proper preparation and perseverance, dementia can be ward off by simply choosing to focus on brain health and activity.