Our brain ages as we age, the cognitive functioning and health of the brain also starts declining with the age and it is a normal part of life. However, certain lifestyle habits and medical conditions can disrupt the health of the brain. Poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or poor dieting habits can lead to an unhealthy brain. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity can directly affect the brain’s health and functioning.
Here is a guideline to keep your brain healthy:
- Movement/Exercise- An individual should regularly exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many people run on busy schedules and are unable to take time out for exercise. If you are unable to do a proper exercise routine, try to move your body as much as possible. For example, take stairs instead of the elevator or if you live nearby your workplace cycle and go instead of taking a car or bus/train. Regularly moving the body not only benefits the brain but also helps you maintain a proper weight, keeps your heart healthy, and your body active as well. A healthy heart is very important to keep the brain healthy as well.
- Maintain a healthy diet- The foods consumed by an individual greatly impacts their overall health, so does the amount of it and time of every meal. It is important to pay attention to the nutrients being consumed to keep the brain healthy. A proper diet reduces chances of high blood pressure levels, high sugar levels, and high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, which are all important for a healthy brain. Try to include fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, and other sources of proteins and vitamins in your diet. Avoid oily or deep-fried foods, sugary foods, and carbonated drinks. Also, remember to pay attention to the time of every meal. Dinner should be completed at least two hours before bed and there should be a minimum of 1.5 hours and a maximum of 3 hours interval between every meal.
- Get adequate sleep- Sleeping enough is very important, as that is how the brain gets to rest. Make sure you sleep at least seven hours regularly. Try to minimize your screen timing as much as possible throughout the day. Put away all electronic devices at least 45 minutes before bed. Take a break of a minimum of 10 minutes between your screen times throughout the day.
- Quit smoking and minimize alcohol intake- Smoking is one of the worst habits one can have which greatly impacts overall health. There is no such thing as occasional smoking; even one cigarette can harm your body. Smoking should be avoided at any cost. Occasional drinking is fine if it is within the limit. However, alcohol should not be abused; drinking regularly at large amounts disrupts an individual’s cognitive functioning. Tobacco should also be avoided as its also harmful to health.
- Take care of your mental health- Mental health is as important as physical health is. Taking care of your mental health is vital; individuals go through depression, anxiety, stress-like mental issues as they age for differing underlying reasons. It is advised to seek professional help if anyone is facing any symptoms of a mental health disorder. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help in healing and result in a healthier and happier life.