Boosting Your Brain Power
Part 2: Five Steps to Improve Your Brain Health
Part one of this two-part blog series focused on ways seniors can exercise their minds to improve their short-term memory. In part two, we will discuss how seniors can improve their brain health with these five simple steps.
1. Have a positive outlook.
Train yourself to focus on what is good or going well in your life. A bad thought or experience should not defeat your happiness. Keep a positive attitude during your journey to better brain health.
2. Get your heart rate up.
Exercising on a regular basis will help push more oxygen and blood to the brain and help it function better. Increased oxygen and blood also help promote the growth of connections and cells in the brain. The human brain shrinks with age, but it has the capacity to continually grow and get stronger.
3. Get enough sleep.
Sleep helps flush toxins out of the brain, according to the National Institutes of Health. A lack of sleep also impairs attention to detail, reasoning and problem-solving abilities. It is recommended that you get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
4. Stay hydrated.
The human brain is made up of more than 70 percent water and staying hydrated is essential to brain health. A lack of water can lead to fatigue, confusion and forgetfulness. Studies show that drinking water can also speed up the brain’s processing abilities. It is recommended that you drink nine to 13 cups of water per day. Check with your doctor if you have medical issues that limit the amount of water you can drink.
5. Eat vegetables and fruits of different colors.
Vegetables and fruits are generally high in fiber and low in fat. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of nutrients, as each fruit or veggie has different vitamins and minerals to offer your body and your brain. Kale, a leafy green vegetable, is considered a “brain food” because of its antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent or delay types of cell damage and have been found to help reduce the risk of cancer, according to studies by the NIH.