“Now where did I put my keys?” So many people assume that difficulty remembering things and focusing are typical symptoms that are to be expected along with the aging process, but that assumption is actually incorrect. It is completely do-able to stay mentally sharp and productive well into old age. You just need to be conscientious about doing natural things in your daily lifestyle that will keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best. Here are some ideas.
Get Enough Sleep
Your brain needs enough sleep, rest and down time to function properly. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are harming your brain and causing it to not function at its best. So make sure you get adequate shut-eye each night, which for the average adult is about 8 hours.
If you have trouble getting or staying asleep, try some natural remedies. Place a couple drops of lavender oil, which is known for its relaxation benefits, onto your pillow. Practice deep breathing, prayer and other relaxing activities before bedtime.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
We all know how harmful tobacco and alcohol can be to a person’s health at any age. But it is especially important as you get older to avoid all tobacco. Drinking a small amount of alcohol such as a glass of red wine occasionally is likely not harmful for many people and in fact can actually help the brain, but excessive drinking is definitely a no-no when it comes to brain health.
Keep Moving Your Body
Physical activity and exercise provide a world of benefits for your entire body, including your brain and mind. Exercise lowers blood pressure, helps to manage blood sugar and lowers stress levels. That, in turn, helps your brain. So make sure you incorporate some mild movement into your daily routine. That can include something as simple as a daily brisk walk or a stretching and Pilates routine. Resistance bands and hand weights are great for building muscle tone. Even household chores and gardening provide some mild exercise.
Have Fun Doing Puzzles and Other Mental Activities
Did you know you can keep your brain healthy while having loads of fun? It’s true. Various puzzles like crosswords and word searches can stimulate your brain and keep you mentally sharp. Even mentally stimulating conversation, reading, working on art projects and learning a foreign language are great for boosting brain power. Just stay mentally active and avoid passive activities like too much television watching.
Eat Brain-Healthy Foods
Your brain thrives on certain foods and their nutrients. For example, it needs plenty of healthy fats in order to function properly and be healthy. That could come from coconut oil, olive oil, fatty fish, raw nuts or flaxseed oil. Nutritional supplements that provide healthy fat, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements, can also be a beneficial addition to your daily routine.
Also avoid foods that are harmful to your brain. Those include “bad fats” like trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are also damaging. Read food labels, and avoid products containing them.
Supplement as Needed
Many people find they can’t get all the nutrients they need just from food, especially as they age. If that’s you, do not hesitate to incorporate nutritional supplements into your daily routine. For example, B vitamins can be especially helpful for brain health. Consult with a nutritionist or other qualified natural health practitioner who can guide you to the nutritional supplements you need.
Address Key Health Markers
Keep your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol at healthy levels, and in so doing, you will be benefiting your brain health. Key ways to do this are through your nutritional habits and exercise, such as by walking daily and eating a nutrient-dense diet.
Focus on Your Social Life
Social activities aren’t just frivolous extras in your life. They are actually beneficial to your overall health, including your brain. Stay involved by joining hobby or religion groups, stay connected with your neighbors, and nurture quality relationships with your family and friends. Your brain will thank you.
Incorporate as many of these ideas as are feasible and beneficial for your individual health needs. As always, consult with a qualified health practitioner, preferably one who has knowledge of natural health, before making changes to your diet, exercise, and other aspects of your health.
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