healthy brain

Steps You Can Take to Maintain a Healthy Brain

If you’re like most people, you want to keep your brain healthy and strong for your entire life. Receiving a dementia diagnosis is not on anyone’s wish list.

That’s why it’s so important to take steps to maintain a healthy brain. And the steps aren’t at all complicated. In many cases, these steps are fun, which makes them easier to practice regularly.

What can you do to keep your brain healthy as you enter your senior years?

The Top 4 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Brain

There are multiple steps you can take when it comes to keeping your brain healthy. Here are just a few of them.

1. Promote Neuroplasticity with Mental Exercises

One of the keys to a healthy brain is doing mental exercises on a regular basis. These games stimulate nerves cells within the brain, improving communication between them, and they may even promote the growth of new brain cells. This is what’s known as neuroplasticity.

To encourage neuroplasticity, try the following exercises:

  • Word puzzles, like word searches and crossword puzzles
  • Math problems
  • Creative projects, like painting, sculpting, or drawing
  • Learning a new language.

2. Eat the Right Foods to Prevent Brain Fog

You know how important it is to eat for your health. Certain foods have certain health benefits, while other foods can damage your physical health.

The same can be said for brain health.

Eating foods that are high in B vitamins – like grains and green, leafy vegetables – have been shown to lower homocysteine levels. This is important because high levels of homocysteine have been linked to dementia.

3. Improve Your Overall Health

To stay mentally healthy, you need to stay physically healthy. Some ways to do this include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Keeping blood pressure in check
  • Keeping blood sugar at a healthy level
  • Reducing cholesterol
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

4. Engage in Daily Exercise – Important for Physical and Mental Health

A recent study found that regular exercise can actually slow the brain’s aging process by 10 years. Participants in the study who exercised had higher scores on cognitive tests. There were two areas in particular in which participants scored higher – thinking speed and memory.

Researchers believe that exercise is beneficial because it promotes blood flow to the brain. Therefore, they’re excited to see if physical exercise can be utilized in the therapy of stroke victims to improve their cognitive function.

How Senior Counseling Can Result in a Healthy Brain

Keeping your brain healthy for a lifetime also involves taking care of your mental and emotional health. Studies have shown that those who deal with depression, stress, and anxiety tend to score lower on cognitive tests.

Talking through your emotions with a counselor can help you deal healthfully and effectively with intense emotions. You’ll feel better (both physically and emotionally), and you’ll be taking yet another step to keeping your brain strong no matter what your age.

Would you like to reduce your stress and keep your brain healthy and strong? If so, please contact me. I’d love to show you how counseling can keep you happy and healthy for a lifetime.

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

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Please note: I do not offer the services of a virtual counselor, therapist or geriatric psychologist. Online personal consulting is not intended to take the place of traditional face-to-face therapy, clinical assessment or treatment.

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