Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month: 10 Tips to Care for Your Brain

June 14, 2023
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June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a time to focus on ways we can strengthen and protect our mental health over the long run. The good news is, no matter your age, there are simple steps you can take today to boost your brain power and cognition for years to come.

Building healthy habits is the key to lifelong wellness. Focusing on nutrition, physical activity, sleep, mental exercise and stress management fuels your brain and body to function at their best. When we maintain an active social life and continue learning as we age, we develop cognitive reserve that helps prevent decline. These lifestyle practices promote healthy mental aging and ensure we stay sharp and engaged for life.

Here are ’10 easy habits’ you can start today to boost your brain health:

1 – Get plenty of sleep.
Lack of sleep can lead to memory and thinking problems. Catch some zzz’s to keep your brain sharp. Rest is essential for memory consolidation and cognition.

2 – Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies.
It can help lower the risk of cognitive decline. Fuel up right with a healthy diet for a healthy mind and body. A well-fed brain is an active and engaged brain.

3 – Take a class.
Formal education can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Challenge your mind by learning something new. Hit the books to stay mentally active and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Mental exercise builds cognitive reserve and neural connections.

4 – Quit smoking.
Smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. Butt out to cut your risk and save your memory. Your brain and lungs will thank you. Kicking the habit promotes blood flow and protects brain health for the long run.

5 – Take care of your mental health.
Seek help for depression or anxiety which may linked to cognitive decline. Take care of your mental health to boost your brain health. Your cognition depends on it. Managing stress and mood benefits both your mental and physical wellbeing.

6 – Protect your head.
Brain injury can increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a helmet for head safety and brain health when engaging in physical activities! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing head trauma maintains functioning and avoids dangerous health issues down the line.

7 – Improve your heart health.
Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes can negatively impact your cognitive health. Follow your heart to healthy cognition. What’s good for your heart is good for your brain. Your heart and brain both depend on a healthy circulatory system to thrive.

8 – Challenge your mind.
Do a puzzle or play strategy games. Mental stimulation may help reduce cognitive decline. Stump yourself to strengthen your cognition. An active mind is the key to brain health. Engaging your mind activates neural pathways and boosts cognitive ability at any age.

9 – Stay socially engaged.
Connecting with others can support better brain health. Buddy up for brighter brains. Social interaction is vital for healthy aging. Bonding with friends and family fires up cognitive connections and lifts your mood.

10 – Exercise regularly.
Aerobic exercise increases blood flow and may help lower the risk of cognitive decline. Break a sweat for mental and physical health benefits. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Both cardio and strength training enhance brain health, longevity, and quality of life.

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month reminds us that it’s never too late to make positive life changes that benefit our mental and physical health. Don’t wait – start choosing one healthy habit to focus on each week. Add more veggie-filled meals, get outside for a walk, call an old friend or try a new hobby that challenges you. Building these brain-boosting practices into your daily routine will maintain your cognition and quality of life for years to come. Start today – your brain will thank you for years to come!

Small changes make a big difference. Together, we can all work toward a healthier and more vibrant community. Our brains and bodies are in this for the long haul – so take care of them and enjoy all life has to offer along the way!

© 2024 Community Health Centers of the Central Coast

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