Tips for a Young, Healthy Brain
Physical health tips dominate headlines and media coverage, but what about the health of your brain?
Are you protecting your brain and your body or focusing solely on the latter?
Thankfully, the two go hand-in-hand to a certain degree. Research shows that exercising regularly promotes brain health, meaning that a jog or a brisk walk can simultaneously benefit you–physically and mentally.
However, plenty of activities impact your brain health that don’t necessarily have physical benefits.
Word puzzles, creative endeavors such as painting or playing an instrument, and video games have shown benefits for a healthy brain. These activities, for comparison, would never been seen on a workout plan!
It’s important to continually challenge your brain with these hobbies. By forcing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll develop new neural pathways, creating a stronger, healthier brain!
Here’s a simple trick to facilitate this development: Use your weak-side hand for a common activity.
If you’re right-handed, use your computer mouse exclusively with your left hand once a week or take a trip back in time to your childhood, buy a coloring book, and try to stay inside the lines with your off-hand.
Of course, stay safe with this. Don’t try to chop vegetables or meats with your super-sharp chef’s knife with your off hand! You may find these tasks difficult at first, but over time it becomes easier. That’s because your brain is adapting and growing, creating new pathways and new muscle memory habits!
Where your diet is concerned, certain foods promote brain health more than others.
As pointed out in this excellent infographic from Health Perch, a Mediterranean-style diet has been proven to improve brain function in remarkable ways.
The Mediterranean diet has also been linked to improved heart health, as it places an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and legumes while cutting back on red meats and sweets. This diet also introduces more fish and seafood than typical eating plans, giving you more omega-3 fatty acids–which are known to help fight off dementia and depression.
How do you keep your noggin’ sharp? I’d love to hear some of your strategies for promoting a healthy brain in your everyday life. Leave a comment, and we’ll talk about it!
Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director
Alliance Healthcare Foundation
About Alliance Healthcare Foundation
Alliance Healthcare Foundation is a San Diego-based nonprofit which works with nonprofit, government and community agencies to advance health and wellness throughout the San Diego and Imperial Counties. AHF works to serve the most vulnerable – the poor, working poor, children and homeless by providing grants, advocacy and education to support its region.
To learn more about our grantees visit here: AHF’s Grantee Page