Are You Aware Of These 5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Brain Health?
Your Brain Matters is a program that is a part of Alzheimer’s Australia’s dementia risk reduction program and they’ve compiled 5 easy ways to improve your brain health. The organisation recently put together a series of easy-to-follow steps which everyone can implement to start improving their brain health today and in the future.
The first step tackles an often overlooked component to brain health: the heart.
We cover this a lot in our 4 week brain and memory health program, but it all boils down to……
What’s Good For Your Heart Is Good For Your Brain
The program reveals a number of heart-related issues can increase a person’s chances of developing dementia, such as
- being obese,
- having high blood pressure, and
- having Type 2 diabetes.
The next recommendation is to increase the amount of physical activity you do each week.
They recommend individuals be active on most, if not all, days of the week and attempt to accumulate up to five hours of moderate exercise or 2.5 hours of vigorous activity every week.
They also recommend performing strengthening exercises on two days each week. In our memory health program we cover off all the exercise types which have been shown to have associated benefits with brain health and brain performance.
So how do you practically apply the Your Brain Matters program in your life? Let’s summarize the 5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Brain Health
- Take care of your heart. Simple actions such as eat a heart smart diet. The Heart Foundation has ample information on their website to guide your diet choices. Failing this, a dietician consultation may be of benefit.
- Move More: Being physically active for over 5hrs a week or about 45min per day is a good target. Aim for daily aerobic and strength activities as a minimum. If you’ve been to our memory health programs before you’d be well aware of other exercises which are just as important such as balance and HIT.
- Challenge Your Brain: Like going to the bank the more you put in when a rainy day hits, you’ve got it covered. The concept of cognitive reserve is believed to be like this, the more you do, the greater the cognitive resilience you have. How do you achieve this? Get out of your everyday brain performance comfort zone. Instead of doing what you’ve always done, set up a calendar of new projects be it: Learn a new language, take up a new sport or hobby anything really provided that it is new and …. challenging.
- Establish Healthy Eating Habits: The pay off also reduces your heart disease, diabetes and weight risk factors, it appears to go a long way to reduce your risk of dementia. We’ve put together a guide for MIND diet which appears to reduce the risk for dementia. You can read it here.
- Your Mates Matter: Enjoy, connect and grow meaningful relationships throughout life is part of the recipe for preventing memory health decline. Being among trusted friends and family members helps us emotionally as well as challenges our brain in our language and social skills. And yes, frequency and quality matters as being alone is associated with experiences of depression and dementia.
What Other Actions Are Important For Your Brain Health?
So the above are the 5 easy ways to improve your brain health. According to Harvard University publication at Harvard Health they list further actions which are likely to be cost effective ways to improve your brain health:
- Improve your blood pressure. Use lifestyle factors such as staying lean, exercise regularly, reduce stress and eat healthy.
- Improve your blood sugar levels ( especially your fasting blood sugar levels)
- Improve your cholesterol. High levels of LDL ( bad) cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of dementia.
- It goes without saying but avoid tobacco and consume alcohol in moderation, and,
- Take care of your emotions and aim for a deep rich sleep of 7-8hrs. You’ll likely perform poorly on cognitive test if your emotions and sleep patterns are affected. Consider mindful meditation practices and establishing a routine for this and your pre-sleep routine.
So there you have it, this is an expanded list, you could call it the “10 easy ways to improve your brain health” for you to take and apply in your life.
Tip: Start With Easy Actions To Improve Your Brain Health
Before you roll up your sleeves and take massive action, I’d like you to pause for a moment. Instead of trying to the whole list, I’d encourage you to start with one priority area first. Start with one then move to the next priority on your list. You might want to talk to your GP or health professional about what is your first action. Whatever your decision start with one and make it stick for 30days.
You may find you’ll need help and advice along this journey.
When you attend our Memory Health Clinic you’ll learn about what you can do to improve your brain and memory health .
We offer a memory health screens, assessments and programs for people who want to take control of their brain and memory health. Call us today on 1300 783 200 or fill out the get in touch today form and we’ll get back to you within the day.