Tips for Better Brain Health
We know that regular exercise is good for both our physical and mental health and we should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. It’s important to do a mixture of endurance (walking, jogging, swimming), flexibility (stretching, yoga), strength (resistance bands, weights, your own body weight) and balance (tai chi, dancing) to keep us physically fit and to challenge our brains.
Don’t worry if you’ve not exercised for a while, start slowly and build up because doing any exercise is better than doing none.
Often people consider sleep just a necessary part of life to fit in around work, socialising and everything else but we all feel better after a good night’s sleep. Sleep problems have become common and this can lead to other health woes so it is important to get into a regular sleep routine by waking up and going to sleep at the same times. A good pre-bedtime routine is also important – avoid screen time prior to bed, get into your PJs, do a quiet activity like reading or meditating and avoid caffeine and other stimulants for several hours before bed.
We are what we eat so eating a nutrient rich diet and drinking plenty of water has a significant positive impact on our health and well being. Research suggests that a Mediterranean diet, which includes vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, beans, fish and poultry, is good for our brain.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that occurs naturally in marine and plant oils. Taking an Omega-3 Supplement is great for your brain as it is anti-inflammatory and there is evidence to suggest that there is a link between Omega-3 and reduced depression.
It goes with out saying it is important to decrease or avoid toxins like smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs.
Our lives are fast paced which can be stressful and excessive long-term stress can impact on our physical and mental health. Meditation (mindfulness) provides stillness, relaxation and visual imagery for our brains, which in turn has a positive effect on stress.
It is important to have a healthy social support system as social isolated individuals can have increased levels of stress hormones. Staying socially connected offers entertainment, comfort, safety and support. Getting involved with your local community or volunteering offers a chance to meet people and provides mental stimulation.
Don’t forget our furry friends! Animals can be a great source of comfort and dogs need to be walked… Hello exercise!!