What are some ways to keep your brain young? Experts say it has to do with a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy overall lifestyle can help protect your physical and mental health and slow the decline in cognitive function associated with the brain. Based on data such as ‘Mayo Clinic Health System.org’, learn how to keep your brain healthy.
Keeping your body active is a strategy to keep your brain young. Exercise increases a protein called brain-derived nerve growth factor (BDNF), which plays an important role in the activation and growth of neurons (nerve cells).
Also, exercise prevents inflammation in the brain. If you do 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week and strength training 1-2 times a week, it will help keep your brain healthy. Here, learning and practicing new sports also stimulates the brain to be healthy.
Exercising outdoors is also good. In particular, exercising in a place with natural light and green environmental conditions, such as a park, reduces stress and helps the secretion of melatonin, thereby maintaining a healthier sleep and wake cycle.
Maintaining Human Relationships
One study found that social isolation increases the risk of dementia in older adults by 50%. You don’t have to have a big social life. Having a few close friends is enough.
Rather than broadening superficial relationships with thousands of people through social media, it is just a person with whom you can have a cup of coffee near your house, or engage in hobbies or volunteer activities that match your interests. If it is difficult to form a deep human relationship, it is also helpful to have a companion animal that can be comforting.
You can’t avoid stress, but you can manage it. There is a difference between uncontrollable stress and manageable stress. Rest is important to manage stress well.
According to the study, people who practiced meditation had thicker brain areas related to concentration and attention than those who did not. This does not mean that you must meditate, but rather that you should take good rest to relax your body and relieve tension like meditation.
Getting a good night’s sleep is also an important part of rest. A good night’s sleep also helps to strengthen your memory.
There is also a report that people who lack sleep are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s later in life. To get a good night’s sleep, it is important to maintain good sleep habits, such as eating at least 3 hours before bedtime and exercising 4 hours before bedtime.
There are foods that help keep the brain healthy. Examples include fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and olive oil. The representative healthy diet is the Mediterranean diet, which many people are familiar with.
Fruits such as green leafy vegetables and berries help to improve cardiovascular health, helping to maintain brain health and function. These foods can help control blood pressure and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Living with a purpose
Even people who had many dreams when they were young, there are many people who think ‘just live’ when they get older. There are studies that show that living without purpose increases the risk of dementia.
Conversely, those who lead a goal-oriented life tended to have a 30% reduced risk of dementia. When you give meaning to your life, you take better care of your own health.
It is also helpful for brain health in that you will develop habits that are beneficial to overall health, such as exercising, eating healthier, having hobbies, and maintaining personal relationships. The fact that the brain is stimulated continuously through self-development is also the secret to keeping the brain healthy by living a purposeful life.