Mental Fitness: Stuff That’s Good for your Brain

by Alison McIrvin
Mental Fitness: Stuff That’s Good for your Brain

The trend in the last 30 years toward fitness has led us to being the fittest generation over 50 that this country has ever seen. A natural by-product of that increased health is longer lifespans. Today, the average person lives to age 78. That longer life-span can come with a price, however. The longer we live, the higher the likelihood of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, or dementia.

There are some definite steps we can take now to reduce the chances of poor brain health. Many factors are involved in good brain health and scientists are seeing evidence of brain training and a solid nutritional approach that can improve memory and intellectual skills and promote a stronger attention span.

Here are some things you can do this week that are good for your brain and help to get you on track for mental fitness and solid brain health:

  • Get your z’s. A good night of sleep is critical to brain health. While sleeping, your brain processes stimuli during sleep and this has direct bearing on our ability to make decisions in our waking hours.
  • Work out! (You had to know we would mention THIS one!): Regular exercise impacts your brain in countless ways. Increasing your heart rate improves the blood flow to your brain which boosts memory, helps you to de-stress, fights depression, and increases focus and clarity.
  • Take your CoQ10: Although the research has been limited, studies support CoQ10’s ability to aid energy production in cells. Mitochondrial activity is reduced as we age and especially in Alzheimer patients.
  • Feed your brain: The list of brain beneficial foods is too long for this post, but check out these noted here and make sure you are getting plenty each week. Most of these are just plain good for you in so many other ways, so it is a win-win!
  • Go fishing! Omega-3 fatty acids as found in fatty fish and fish oil are essential for brain and body health. Those who have a history of eating fish weekly, are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
  • Brain games: Brain training and mental games help to focus your attention, improve memory, sharpen intelligence, and increase brain speed. Check out some of these brain games and make a commitment to do a few each week.

In addition to all of the above, when people stay active in their community, have a good social circle, and strong family ties, they stay sharp mentally.

Now that you have your prescription for brain health, what are some things you do each week to keep your brain in its best shape?

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