A balancing act of mental exercise, physical exercise, good nutrition, and emotional wellbeing.
Working the daily crossword or word puzzles can be a natural part of a brain fitness plan designed to keep your mind alert and sharp. But if you want to take serious steps to improve and maintain good brain health throughout life and into your senior years, it takes a multi-faceted approach. Whether you are 25 or 75, there are some important things you can do to keep your brain fit and enrich your life in the process.
Give your brain a good workout.
1. Work brain-stimulating games and puzzles to keep your mind in good shape. Beside crosswords and word puzzles, Scrabble, Chess and other challenging board games keep your brain active and encourage strategic thinking.
2. Keep up with what’s new in the world by following current events. In this age of the 24-hour news cycle and news programming that can at times have a particular slant, watch a sampling of reporting from several networks to get a broader perspective on issues of the day.
3. Reading is fundamental. Reading keeps your mind pumping, improves visualization skills, stimulates thought processes and can expand your vocabulary. For more social contact…join a book club.
4. Watch a thought-provoking movie.
5. Take up a new hobby or renew interest in an old one to get your creative juices flowing.
6. Learn something new. Take a class, learn a new language or take up a new musical instrument. The act of learning exercises and engages many parts of your brain.
Healthy body. Healthy Mind.
1. Whether you join a gym or exercise studio for an exercise class, work out by yourself or have a personal trainer, getting regular exercise not only keeps your body fit, it can increase blood-flow to your brain.
2. Get a workout while you keep your lawn and garden in shape. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, weeding flower beds, all give your body a great workout and exercise your mind.
3. Walk your dog. Take a hike. Go for a bike ride. Spending time outdoors and getting physical exercise gives you a chance to get some fresh air, see some different scenery, push out the worries of the day and relax your mind.
4. Sports such as tennis, golf, swimming, and running are also excellent ways to stay fit and keep the oxygen pumping to your brain. Competing in races and tournaments, adds the mental boost of challenging you to achieve at a higher level of performance.
5. Dance provides special anti-aging benefits. Learn to tango, or join a zumba, ballet, or ballroom dance class.
Eat a brain-healthy diet.
1. Eating foods with antioxidants can help improve focus, problem-solving and memory.
2. Fish is the ultimate brain food. Eat more fish, but avoid fish with high mercury content. To check for the fish with low, moderate and high levels of mercury, visit www.wellbeingmag.com.
3. Fruits and vegetables, especially raw foods, whole grains, and olive oil, should all be part of a brain-healthy diet.
4. Eating organic food reduces the toxins that go into your body.
5. Know the top 10 brain foods that can improve memory, mood, concentration and overall clarity… Blueberries, Salmon, Flax seeds, Coffee, Mixed nuts, Avocados, Eggs, Whole grains, Chocolate, Broccoli
Reduce stress for healthy mind and spirit.
1. Burying strong emotions, such as anger, sadness or loneliness, lowers your resistance to disease, and distracts your mind. Learn to identify your feelings and find positive ways to work through them.
2. Meditation and other relaxation exercises can improve focus and relieve stress. Clearing the mental cobwebs, gives your mind a chance to refresh.
3. Deep breathing benefits your brain by oxygenating the body, including the brain.
4. The quantity and quality or your sleep can play an important role in your stress levels. By getting a good night’s sleep, you can reduce stress and boost your concentration levels during the day.
5. Smile. When you smile and laugh, your brain releases a chemical message deep within your brain known as an Endorphin. Once released these Endorphins travel down the spine sending feel-good messages throughout the rest of your body as they go.