How to keep your Brain Fit
Posted on October 28 2020
Your brain is the most important and incredible part of your body, so it’s important to keep it in tip top condition. A lot of us don’t start thinking about brain health until we start noticing changes such as memory loss later in life. Here we take a look at five of the best ways to stay on top of your cognitive fitness.
We all know that having an active lifestyle is the best way to keep your body healthy, but it also works wonders for your brain too. Regular aerobic exercise boosts the part of your brain involved in memory and learning. The kind of exercise that gets your heart rate up and your sweat glands working will increase blood flow to your brain and reduce your longer-term risk of stroke, blood clots and dementia.1
Food for thought
There’s a growing body of research that agrees having a nutritious diet will support your mind in several ways. The traditional Mediterranean diet has been shown to have positive effects on brain function. It’s rich in fruit, vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids and whole grains, while low in saturated fat. As brain health is closely linked to heart health this makes a lot of sense as this diet is also known to support a healthy heart.
A treat that’s worth adding to your diet is dark chocolate. Research has found that the flavanols in cocoa beans can help improve memory and cognitive performance.2
It’s never too late to reap the rewards of challenging yourself to something new. Picking up a new skill is not only fun and interesting but also helps to strengthen the connections in your brain. Is there a language you’ve always wanted to learn? Perhaps you’ve always fancied taking up baking or learning the guitar? Learning new skills throughout your lifetime will go a long way towards keeping your mind sharp.
A key part of making sure your brain stays on point is to make sure it’s shut off properly at night. Getting enough quality sleep is the most important thing you can do to rest your brain, allowing it to recover and store important memories. Reducing your caffeine intake and sticking to a healthy bedtime routine are two great ways to improve your quality and quantity of sleep.
Spending longer speaking to people and making new friends has been shown to be good for your brain and reduce the risk of dementia.3 Forming closer social connections is just great for your general happiness too. So keep your social connections strong, put down the TV remote and have a natter with your friend instead. It’s good for you!
What to remember
Keeping your brain healthy is about more than just brain training games. In fact it’s way more effective and challenging to master real-world skills. Stimulating your brain uses more of it, which in turn creates new connections and “backs up” your memories. But it’s also important to support your brain’s health and keep your mind sharp by exercising, having a nutritious diet, sleeping well, and staying in touch with people.