In recent years a major recurring theme has taken center stage in scientific research on the human brain:
The lifestyle a person leads plays a major factor in how the brain ages and can directly affect the arc of memory-impairing diseases.
From diet and exercise to stress management and social interaction, there are very few parts of a person’s lifestyle that don’t affect how their brain will age. Though the level of detail provided by these studies can vary greatly, there has never been a better understanding of how the lifestyle choices a person can make to increase their chances of keeping their brain healthy later in life!
Here is a simple list of things a person can do to put the brain-health odds in their favor:
- Follow an established diet that has been shown to help with healthy aging. The MIND Diet and other diets that are lower in fat and higher in veggies and fruit can keep both your heart and mind healthy! Stick to foods that are low in fat and cholesterol, such as fish, poultry, nuts and whole grains.
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, though the longer and more active the better. Physical activity and aerobic exercise have been found to have significant brain benefits and can actually cause important parts of the brain to increase in size. Even simple tasks like gardening and cleaning can help keep your circulatory system delivering oxygen more efficiently throughout the body.
- Control stress with meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi or other proven techniques. Taking a few minutes to calm the mind can reduce blood pressure and even increase activity in the hippocampus.
- Keep social and be purposeful. A strong social network involving purpose-oriented activities like volunteering has been found to protect against cognitive decline.
While scientists are still studying many of the more specific aspects of these lifestyle choices, they are already being used to help individuals living with dementia in programs like Nexus® at Silverado. This internationally recognized, evidence-based brain health program, is a non-drug approach that has improved cognition and function for many persons in the earlier stages of living with dementia.
Find more useful tips and information here: https://www.silverado.com/resource-center/dementia-resources/
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