Neurology Reveals 10 Habits That Improve Brain Fitness
If you have adopted a healthier diet and lifestyle, you know how necessary physical fitness is for your body. You don’t have to be a gymnast or athlete to reap the benefits of daily exercise. What part of your regimen includes brain fitness?
Although the brain is often called the master organ, most people don’t think much of it. Your brain is busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, receiving and interpreting messages from your body and your environment. It simultaneously classifies and stores this data while sending commands through your system to keep it alive and safe.
Ways to improve brain health
Are you worried about the health of your brain? There are many things you can do to improve this organ and ensure optimal health. Here are some ways you can improve brain fitness.
1. Enjoy a brain healthy diet
When you eat a healthy diet of lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, and healthy fats, your entire body benefits. Like your other vital organs and systems, your brain needs vitamins and minerals for optimal health and performance.
While it’s a good idea to limit saturated fat and eliminate trans fat from your diet, you still need some healthy fats to lubricate your cells and organs. According to a study published by Acta Neurologica Taiwan, your brain is made up of about 60 percent. You need essential fatty acids to build and control neurotransmitters and other brain functions.
Don’t forget these essential fats (also called Omega-3s) in your daily meals and snacks for good brain fitness. An article published by the Office of Dietary Supplements offers suggestions for foods that provide these fats. You can enjoy fish and other varieties of shellfish, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, according to the article.
2. Have an exercise plan
Did you know that going to the gym or exercising at home can also contribute to brain fitness? On the surface, you can see results in your muscle tone and strength when you exercise regularly. However, your exercise is also improving the health of your internal organs, including your brain.
The brain benefits of exercising are impressive, shares an article published by the Dana Foundation. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and releases proteins vital for the health of neurons and proper brain function. The article also states that regular workouts release endorphins and dopamine which are responsible for improving mood.
3. Take a break from technology
Yes, our world depends on technology for many of our daily tasks, such as work and education. However, it is easy for you to exhaust your mind with technology overload. An article published by Digital advertising states that Americans, on average, spend about two hours on social media every day.
He also shares that he has an average of 150 daily sessions on our phones and multimedia devices. That doesn’t even include hours spent watching TV or streaming music. You can have more time for physical and brain conditioning activities by reducing your tech time.
Consider taking a break to have meaningful conversations with your loved ones and friends in person. Go for a walk or find an interesting book to read.
4. Get enough sleep
In the midst of your busy schedule, have you ever told others that sleep was overrated? Perhaps what you mean is that you need to rest but you can’t. An article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that at least one in three Americans report sleep deprivation.
To get the best brain conditioning plan, you need to get the right amount of sleep each night. According to an article published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, your brain performs many “cleaning” tasks while you sleep. Eliminate accumulated toxins and perform other rejuvenating tasks.
Since we are all different, sleep needs can vary from person to person. However, the same article suggests that most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Younger people may need a little more, and older people generally require a little less.
If you feel a little slow and on chronic brain fog, you may be sleep deprived. Try to make your bedroom as dark and comfortable as possible and free of technology. Reserve your bed for sleep and romance.
5. Share stories
Long before the first humans converted their languages into written form, they relied on storytelling. Oral history, traditions, and life lessons were passed down from generation to generation, and the children listened to their elders. So these stories kept their brains active and allowed them to preserve their lives and cultures.
To tell a story, you must remember the characters and the events. According to a study published by the National Academy of Sciences, both you and your listeners’ brains react in sync when you tell a story. Through MRIs, the researchers discovered that integral parts of the brain light up when both the narrator and the listener are involved in a good story.
If you’ve lived for a long time, you probably have fascinating stories and anecdotes to share with others. You can also boost your creative side and come up with some fun and exciting stories to tell your children or grandchildren. It is good for brain fitness and is an ideal bonding tool.
6. Learn something new
Wouldn’t this be a boring world if your knowledge and skill levels were never challenged? Your brain can quickly get bored and fall into depression if you don’t present a new challenge every day. It’s about growing and expanding your world.
Break the boredom and decide to learn something new every day. Read a book on different topics, or consider learning the skills you’ve always wanted to try. You may not be Beethoven or Leonardo Da Vinci, but you can still have fun learning to play the piano or paint a decent picture.
7. Try meditation
Sometimes your mind needs time to relax and regroup. Chronic stress can not only affect your physical health, it can also be detrimental to your mental well-being. According to a study published by Nature Reviews Neuroscience, stress can affect the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which can lead to mental illness and other brain disorders.
You don’t have to subscribe to any religion or belief system to enjoy the benefits of meditation. All you need is a quiet, comfortable place to sit back, relax, and let your mind free. When idle thoughts come to mind, you acknowledge them and release them in peace.
It is a useful tool for allowing your brain to rest, filtering out negative thoughts, and absorbing positive affirmations. Even if you meditate for 15-20 minutes a day at home or on a break at work, you will see a difference. Listening to relaxing music can help you set the mood for your meditation work.
8. Play games and puzzles
Perhaps there is nothing more beneficial and fun for your brain than a challenging game. Riddles and other “riddles” have been around since the beginning. An article published by The Paris Review mentions classic puzzles and secrets throughout the centuries. These games range from Ancient Egypt, Rome, and China to the iconic crossword puzzle invented by Arthur Wynn in 1913.
When was the last time you challenged your brain with a puzzle? You can buy complete books of crossword puzzles, find a word, sudoku and other puzzles, inexpensively at most stores. Instead of mindlessly surfing the internet and changing TV channels, consider doing a brain fitness puzzle.
9. Read a good book
It is always a pleasure to immerse yourself in a good book. Not only can you get valuable information from nonfiction books, but they can also teach you new skills and other hobbies. You can learn a new language or read about other fascinating topics to achieve a great brain fitness goal.
Fiction also plays an important role in challenging your brain. When you read novels and other works of fiction, your imagination expands. You must use your mind’s eyes to bring the characters and action to life. Also, being an avid reader can stimulate your brain to cultivate better writing skills.
10. Change your routine
Are you tired of doing the same thing every day? Maybe it’s your brain’s way of telling you that you’re bored and need a change. Of course, many routines are necessary for daily life, but you can challenge your mind by changing things up a bit.
Consider the small changes in your daily routine that will challenge your mind. If you are used to drinking hot coffee every morning, how about trying a cup of herbal tea? Why not add something modern to your wardrobe? Instead of ordering the same dish at your favorite restaurant, try a new entree.
It doesn’t have to be life changing or a drain on your bank account. Small changes in your routine can make your mind routine. You will be amazed at the inspiration you can feel just by doing something different.
Final thoughts on developing habits for better brain fitness
You will only have one brain in this life, so you need to take care of it. Good brain fitness includes keeping your mind busy and challenged every day. The more you exercise your brain, the more likely you are to sharp mind in his later years.