How can we live in a way that prevents memory loss, improves brain performance and increases mental fitness? The good news is that research in the late 1990s has shown two important points:
- The human brain can generate new brain cells that assist in the battle against neurodegenerative disease.
- We create these new cells by selecting environments, behaviors and activities that are enriched, complex and novel.
Experts such as Dr. Paul Nussbaum and representatives with the Sci-brain program in Sarasota, Florida advocate a proactive brain health lifestyle to ward off dementia and memory loss and to improve brain functioning.
These brain experts promote activities in five domains:
- Physical Activity
- Mental Stimulation
- Spirituality/Inner development
Socialization refers to our efforts to develop our relationships, to stay involved with our families, friends and community groups and to participate in pursuits that are meaningful to us.
2. Physical Activity
Allotting time in each day for physical activities such as walking, aerobic exercise, yoga, dance, and gardening reduces the risk of dementia and lessens depressive symptoms.
3. Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation involves activities such as reading regularly, learning a new language, learning to play a new instrument, painting, making pottery, public speaking and brain fitness programs.
4. Spirituality/Inner Development
Rhythmic breathing, meditation, relaxation procedures, enjoying nature, yoga, tai chi help us to turn inward and to reduce stress in life. Thirty minutes of quiet time each day and a good night’s sleep can also bring many benefits.
Nutrition for a healthy brain includes increasing our fish intake every week, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, using canola oil and olive oil when cooking, eating more unsalted nuts, especially walnuts, and eating appropriate carbohydrates, such as whole grains, oats, and rye grain.
Concrete actions in these five areas of life will keep our brain strong and sharp and will reduce the possibility of dementia and Alzheimer’s. We can start to cultivate brain health at any age.
For more information about brain health and Dr. Nussbaum’sBrain Health Lifestyle®, visit:
Submitted and prepared by Member Wally Lazaruk, October 2018.