We have learned from many studies that our brain vitality and quality of life are directly impacted by our lifestyle. So, what are some simple ways for keeping the brain synapses firing at optimum capacity? According to the longevity and neurology experts at Bumrungrad, there are a few simple steps we can all take to keep our brains healthy and strong.
1. Learn. Humans are curious creatures and our brains function at the highest level when we’re learning something new. Pick up a new hobby or skill, and satisfy that natural curiosity. This is going to keep your brain firing at all cylinders for much longer than people who stop learning and discovering.
2. Socialize. Just as we are curious, we are also very social creatures. Studies have shown that people with a strong social network are more likely to preserve their cognitive function for much longer than those in isolation, so nurture your connections and grow new ones whenever possible.
3. Move! Needless to say, exercise is an extremely important component of a healthy lifestyle at any age. Additionally, exercise makes the brain work better and more efficiently, which improves our ability to learn and think. Exercise triggers the release of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a protein that essentially helps to grow new neurons while supporting the survival of existing neurons.
4. Eat Well. Next time you think about healthy food choices, don’t forget about the foods that your brain craves. While some leads may lead to cognitive decline, others help to protect the brain against disease and combat memory loss. For instance, avoid high levels of Saturated fats (put the cheese away!) but try to eat more Monounsaturated fats (enjoy some avocado!) in your daily nutrition.
5. Relax. Stress is one of the worst byproducts of modern life, and as such as need to treat is a threat to our health. It goes without saying that high levels of stress and anxiety can be terrible for the brain, while relaxation can help to combat or reverse the negative effects of stress. So, remember to take some time-out for rest and relaxation. Incorporate activities like meditation into your life, and try to laugh out loud regularly. If the stress or anxiety in your life seems persistent, see talk to a mental health professional.
We live in a time of incredible medical advancement, but prevention remains the best method of fighting against disease. Simple and straightforward lifestyle choices can go a long way to ensuring that we enjoy good health well into our advanced ages, so take charge of your brain health by making a few smart changes today.
Dr. Lily Chaisompong is a leading specialist in the field of geriatric medicine, and has helped many patients enjoy happier and healthier lives regardless of age. Make an appointment at Bumrungrad’s New Life Healthy Aging Clinic and get on the road to a future of optimum health.