Health: Tips for a Healthier Brain
We’re women. We’re always looking for ways to look younger, but it’s even more important to feel younger. Keeping your body and mind healthy will help you feel better in your day-to-day life and be more productive, but also prevent some serious health issues as you age—so don’t wait, and get on track to a healthier brain now!
Easy ways to train your brain to be younger, quicker, smarter!
Healthy habits not only make your body younger, they also make your brain healthier, studies suggest.
Hit the sack
Anyone who’s ever stayed up too late experiences that next-day fuzziness, when it seems like nothing really registers or is available for recall later. In fact, that is exactly what’s happening. Different parts of the brain are responsible for creating different types of memories—a face, a name, or a recollection, explains Gary Richardson, M.D., senior research scientist at the Sleep Disorders Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. “Sleep is what helps knit all those memories together.” You also need sleep to make long-term memories last. Studies at Harvard Medical School have found that when people are given a list of words to memorize, those who then sleep will recall more words afterward than those who don’t snooze. And sleep quality is just as important as quantity. New research suggests that the more fragmented your night’s rest, the less likely you are to consolidate memories.
Sweat yourself smarter
Evidence that a fit body translates into a fit mind keeps accumulating. For instance, when researchers at the University of Illinois looked at the brains of 161 adults, ages 59 to 81, they found that the hippocampus, the part of the brain linked to forming memories, was larger in those who were physically active. “Fitness improvement—even if you’ve been sedentary most of your life—leads to an increase in volume of this brain region,” explains study coauthor Art Kramer, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neuroscience.
In another of Kramer’s studies, 65 older adults began walking for 10 minutes three times a week. Each week, they increased the length of their walks by five minutes until, at week seven, they reached 40 minutes per session—the duration they stuck with for the remainder of the study. At the end of one year, the walkers had increased brain connectivity and improved scores on cognitive tests. “Just get out and walk for an hour a few days a week,” advises Kramer.
Drop the extra weight
In a French study, those with a high body mass index (BMI) scored lower on memory tests and had bigger mental declines than people with lower BMIs. Johns Hopkins researchers have also found that obesity, especially fat around your middle, can increase your risk of dementia by 80%, on average. Losing weight seems to reverse this worrying trend. A combination of a better diet and exercise will do the trick—step up your fiber and water intake and avoid alcohol and bad carbs to feel better and enhance your memory.
Getting adequate sleep, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight are excellent ways to keep your brain’s physical health in check; but what about your mental health? With all of life’s daily stress, don’t forget Your Concierge Services can help you with your busy schedule. With services ranging from house cleaning, snow removal, dog walking, errand services, and more, we’ll help you simplify your life.
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